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Kniofht Letter 

THE LEWIS CARROLL . J^\SOCIETY OF NORTH AMERICA NUMBER 58 AUTUMN 1 998 




Ravings from the Writing Desk 
of Joel Birenbaum 

Can a Raven have a "Swan Song"? I prefer it to the 
lament of the late Lory or the demise of the Dodo. At any rate 
this shall be my final raving from the writing desk. I have 
greatly enjoyed my four years as president, but it is time to 
allow someone new to have that pleasure. I think that I have 
had the benefit of the centenary to help keep our author and 
our organization in the public eye. It may take a bit more work 
to maintain the heightened awareness over the next four 
years. I ask you to pledge with me to support the president 
who shall be elected in November. I would mention her by 
name, Stephanie Stoffel, but I would not want to presume. 

The most heartening thing I have learned in my ten- 
ure is that the works of Carroll are still loved by school chil- 
dren. I have heard this directly from children on the Internet. 
I cannot say how representative this sample is, but it lifts my 
spirits nonetheless. Certainly we in the LCSNA believe that 
Carroll's works are timeless, but it is up to each generation to 
prove whether or not we are justified in this belief. We have 
been accused more than once of being closed-minded and 
overly protective of Carroll's reputation. I think the only an- 
swer necessary is to remain open to new ideas and continue 
to reject those that are without merit. I think Lewis Carroll's 
reputation can stand on its own, but every now and then it is 
necessary to bring the facts to the fore when Carroll is at- 
tacked with innuendo by self-serving journalists. 

I hope that many of you will be able to join us No- 
vember 7 th and 8 th at UCLA and the Huntington Library for 
our Fall meeting. The program is eclectic as always and has a 
California flavor to it [details on p. 20]. The Maxine Schaefer 
Memorial Reading for children will be held at the L. A. Public 
Library at 10:00 a.m. on the 7 l . It is important that we con- 
tinue to support this outreach effort. It pleases me greatly to 
know that we are continuing in the path of those who have 
come before us. We have lost several members to death in 



the past four years, the latest being Carol Droessler [see p. 17]. 
The losses sadden me, but I would never have been able to 
count them among my friends if it hadn't been for the LCSNA. 
They have left me better for the experience. 

As the White Knight, I ride off into the sunset look- 
ing back for a bit of comfort. I see all those who have helped 
me lead the LCSNA over the past four years waving franti- 
cally. I thank my fellow elected board members, Fran Abeles, 
Genevieve Smith, Kay Rossman, Rosella Howe, Ellie 
Luchinsky, Stephanie Stoffel, and Donald Rackin for perform- 
ing their jobs in such a way that I never had to worry about 
them. This may not sound like much, but, believe me, this is 
high praise, indeed. There are many non-elected officials who 
have served us well including Charles Lovett, August Imholtz, 
Janet Jurist, and Bea Sidaway. I must single out the magnifi- 
cent job done by Mark Burstein, the editor of the Knight 
Letter. For one thing, if I didn't he would just edit it in any- 
way. [Who? moi? - ed.] Previous presidents have been made 
of iron and have edited the KL during their reign, but I do not 
have such a strong constitution and appreciate Mark's edi- 
torial abilities that have enhanced the style and content of 
the KL. Without the efforts of these people the life of this 
LCSNA president would have been unbearable. Clearly, there 
were many others who contributed to our success and the 
only reason I don't mention them is to increase the number 
of letters and phone calls I get. My thanks to all. 

I eagerly look forward to the 25 anniversary of the 
LCSNA in 1999. We have accomplished much and have much 
yet to accomplish. I hope that you, as I, look on the LCSNA 
with a feeling of great pride. 

7, for one, am quite proud to have worked with you, Joel, 
and thank you on behalf of many for your truly inspiring 
leadership. I think among other achievements, your cre- 
ation and maintenance of the Lewis Carroll and LCSNA 
websites should be singled out. An d unlike the White Knight, 
we can look forward to seeing you at many future meetings! 



"What a funny watch!" she remarked. "It tells the day of the month, and doesn't tell what o'clock it is!" 

"Why should it?" muttered the Hatter. "Does your watch tell you what year it is?" 

"Of course not," Alice replied very readily: "but that's because it stays the same year for such a long time together." 

"Which is just the case with mine," said the Hatter. 



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O albo dies notanda lapillo 

The death centenary of C.L.Dodgson produced a cornuco- 
pia of conferences from California to Moscow. . . 

Charles D. & Charles D. 

by Janet Jurist 

"Charles Dickens and Lewis Carroll: Multicultural 
Worlds of Fiction", an interdisciplinary conference organized 
by Edward Guiliano et al., was held at Queens College in 
New York City on April 23 . Considering the subjects, it was 
inevitable that the conference be most interesting. 

The theme of the morning program was the remark- 
able differences yet striking 
similarities of these two endur- 
Nina 



ing literary giants" 
Demurova , the first major 
speaker, was introduced by 
none other than Yevgeny 
Yevtushenko . Nina told of 
how she had read Dickens as 
a child, but was introduced to 
Carroll only as a university 
student. She mentioned her 
father's theory that certain 
authors were good for summer 
reading, Dickens for example. 
Others, like Tolstoy, were suit- 
able only for the grim Russian 
winters. Nina felt that in Carroll 
there were many echoes of 
Dickens and she gave several 
examples. Whether con- 
sciously or subconsciously, 
Carroll definitely borrowed 
from his fellow-countryman. 
Both had a feeling for non- 
sense and the grotesque; both 
borrowed from folk tales and 
myths and both espoused the 
cult of the child. Above all, 
both wrote with great humor. 
While Dickens was very much 
the realist and Carroll meta- 
phoric, in their writings, each 
looked at the world through 
someone else's eyes. 

A panel discussion, 
"The Continuing Appeal of 
Dickens and Carroll", fol- 
lowed. Participants were Karen 
P. Smith , Dickens biographer 
Fred Kaplan and our own 

Donald Rackin . It was agreed by all three panelists that 
Dickens and Carroll survived to this day not only in their 
native England but all over the world because of their inspi- 
rational wit. Both are timeless, straddling the old and the 
new. In some ways, their works may be more pertinent today 



than they were in their own times. 

After a break for lunch, we returned to hear Thea 

8 

Musgrave , as she discussed the process she used to com- 
pose an opera based on Dickens' A Christmas Carol. One of 
the difficulties was deciding which episodes to include. The 
music and the scenes she played gave us a taste for more. 

A most enjoyable finale was the viewing of some of 
Dave Schaefer's collection of early Alice films, along with 
his elucidating commentary. The 1903 Hepworth, 1910 Edison, 
a 1930 Joan Bennett dance sequence and the 1933 newsreel 
of Alice Hargreaves in the U.S. were all great. However, the 
one we all enjoyed most was the 1930's Betty Bdop"cartoon 

"Betty in Blunderland". 
All in all , it 
was a very enlightening 
and entertaining day. 



They were remarkably different; they were surprisingly 
similar. On the one hand, a self-educated public figure, a 
celebrity who was famous as a novelist, a periodical editor, 
an after-dinner speaker, a skilled amateur actor and stage 
manager, and a dazzlingly effective performer in readings 
of his own fiction; a traveler who spent long periods of 
time on the Continent and in North America; a husband at 
twenty-four, the father of ten children, an apostle of family 
harmony who later separated from his wife after twenty- 
two years of marriage; a writer whose death was mourned 
all over the world. In contrast, a graduate of the distin- 
guished Rugby School and of Christ Church at Oxford 
University, a shy lecturer and tutor in mathematics, an 
ordained Anglican deacon whose stammer made him 
reluctant to give sermons, a man who traveled from 
England only once, a lifelong bachelor who evidently 
remained celibate, a person who shunned publicity. 

But the parallels are fascinating. Each man was the oldest 
son in a large family, Dickens having seven sisters and 
brothers, Carroll having ten siblings. Each as a boy pro- 
duced household theatrical events; each as an adult 
displayed a playful, extremely engaging manner in speak- 
ing with young children. Each enjoyed lengthy walks, often 
of twenty miles or more; each became an especially 
devoted theatergoer; each was a prolific letter-writer; each 
considered himself a devout Christian but disliked sectar- 
ian divisiveness; each bitterly resented gossip accusing him 
of sexual impropriety; and, most important, each wrote 
narrative noteworthy for humor, satire, parody, memo- 
rable dialog, and great sensitivity to the plight of young 
children facing frightening authority figures, stories that 
appeared with striking illustrations for which the author 
himself had given specific instructions... 

~ Stanley Friedman, Queens College 
from the conference brochure 



former LCSNA President, 
currently Vice President for 
Academic Affairs, New 
York Institute of Technol- 
ogy 

see box at left 

University of the Russian 
Academy of Education, 
Moscow, author of many 
scholarly books and trans- 
lations of Carroll material 

Russian lyric poet and 
novelist, currently Distin- 
guished Professor at Queens 
College 

Professor, Queens College 

Distinguished Professor, 
Queens College 

Temple University, au- 
thor of AW & TTLG: Non- 
sense, Sense, and Meaning 
(1991) and numerous ar- 
ticles 

Scottish composer known 
for her historical operas, 
such as Mary, Queen of 
Scots (1977), and Simon 
Bolivar (1995), currently 
Distinguished Professor at 
Queens College 

9 former LCSNA President, 
currently at George Mason 
University 



"On the 27 inst. at the Parsonage, Daresbury, 
Cheshire, the lady of the Rev. Charles Dodgson, of a 
son." ~ The Times of London, 31 January, 1832 



Lewis Carroll at Mythcon 

August A. Imholtz, Jr. 

The 29th conference of the Mythopoeic Society was 
held at Wheaton College in Wheaton, Illinois, a distant sub- 
urb of Chicago, from July 1 5-20, 1998. In addition to being the 
home of the Billy Graham Archives, the college possesses a 
large amount of C.S.Lewis material, purportedly including 
his famous "wardrobe." The centenary of the birth of C(live) 
S(taples) Lewis was the major theme of the conference, 
though July 16 was devoted to Lewis Carroll. John Docherty 
of the Lewis Carroll Society (U.K.) participated in a lively 
morning panel on "Alice in Narnia: Lewis Carroll and 
C.S.Lewis." The afternoon's events began with Docherty's 
interesting exploration of the similarities between the literary 
and artistic circle of Lewis Carroll and the literary group called 
the "Inklings" which included C.S.Lewis, Owen Barfield, 
J.R.R. Tolkien and others at Oxford a generation after Carroll's 
death. Joel Birenbaum introduced the first of the two after- 
noon panels, "(Most of Carroll's Sources) Are Greek to Me" 
by noting that the main reason for discussing Carroll in a 
Lewis conference is not the coincidence of their shared cen- 
tenary, the one of death and the other of birth, nor the fact 
that they were both Oxford dons, but rather because of their 
love of language and wordplay as exemplified in their 
fantastical works. 

August Imholtz read an obscure paper, "Plato in 
Wonderland: or, Beautiful Soup and Other Philosophical 
Ideas" in which he cited some similarities between passages 
in the Alice books and, of all things, the Platonic dialogue 
"Hippias Major". Fernando Soto, continuing the Greek theme 
in his paper "Alice as Flower and Carroll as Botanist", inves- 
tigated the etymological meaning and botanical symbolism 
behind some key common nouns, illustrations, and names in 
the Alice books, including Alice herself. 

The final panel, "Fragments of a Looking-Glass", 
was chaired by Fernando Soto. David L. Neuhouser briefly 
and amusingly discussed "Lewis Carroll: Author, Mathema- 
tician, and Christian" focusing on the Sylvie and Bruno 
books. Arden Smith's paper, "Tortoise? What Tortoise? Al- 
tered Images in Alice Translations", compared the German 
translations of the tortoise passage in the versions of Antoine 
Zimmerman (Leipzig, 1 869) and Lieslotte Remane (East Ber- 
lin, 1968). In the second half of his paper, Mr. Smith trans- 
lated the names of many of the characters in the Alice books 
into Pitjantjatjara and then retranslated the Pitjantjatjara back 
into English with some amusing results. In addition, he taught 
us how to pronounce "Pitjantjatjara". Clive and Charles would 
have been amused.* 



* Alitji in the Dreamtime was first translated into Pitjantjatjara (an 
aboriginal language of Australia) by Nancy Sheppard, published with 
illustrations by Byron Sewell, in 1975; Alitji in Dreamland, also trans- 
lated by Sheppard, and illustrated by Donna Leslie, was published in 
1992. 



The International Lewis Carroll Conference in Moscow 

August A. Imholtz, Jr. 

In February of this year, I was invited to read a pa- 
per at the International Lewis Carroll Conference being 
planned at the State Library for Foreign Literature in Mos- 
cow. The occasion for the conference was the centenary of 
the death of Lewis Carroll and so the Russian Carroll enthu- 
siasts in Moscow, chiefly Ms. Olga Valentinova Sinitsyna, 
head of the Art and Children's Literature departments, de- 
cided to organize the program, the first such Carroll confer- 
ence ever to take place in the capital of the former Soviet 
Union. 

During the Communist period such a gathering 
would have been almost impossible to realize, not because 
Lewis Carroll was a proscribed author, but rather because he 
would not have been deemed sufficiently serious to merit 
Soviet consideration. In spite of that fact, the Alice books 
had long been very popular in the Soviet Union, with more 
than a half-dozen different translations having been pub- 
lished. Even some of Carroll's mathematics, logic, and more 
specialized minor pamphlet works were translated into Rus- 
sian during the 1970s and 1980s. Martin Gardner's The Anno- 
tated Alice achieved the status of an underground classic 
among university students in those decades. 

In observation of the Lewis Carroll centenary, the 
British Council sponsored a small but well-done traveling 
Carroll exhibition, "The World of Lewis Carroll", which the 
Library for Foreign Literature was able to secure from the end 
of March through the middle of May. In addition to the post- 
ers, photographs, and other materials she received from the 
British Council, Olga Sinitsyna persuaded Margarita 
Feodorovna Roushaylo, the widow of the greatest Russian 
Carroll collector, Alexander Mikailovitch Roushaylo, to lend 
over one hundred works from her late husband's collection. 
The Library then, with the help of the British Council and the 
Roushaylo family, was able to mount a splendid collection of 
Carroll publications and translations, with some original art- 
work in the exhibit cases of the Art Department reading room. 

The library itself was founded by Ms. I.M. 
Rudomino, an independent scholar and thinker at a time when 
such traits could prove quite dangerous in the Soviet Union. 
Originally housed in a building by the old Lomonosov uni- 
versity, the library now occupies a modern, well-lit facility 
directly opposite from one of Moscow's seven "Stalin sky- 
scrapers". The Rudomino Library contains almost four mil- 
lion volumes in the humanities and social sciences. 

We received our official invitations from the Library, 
the Ministry of Culture, and the Foreign Ministry in March, 
and duly submitted our documents to the Russian consular 
office in Washington on April 1 . Although the exhibition had 
opened at the end of March with a Mad Tea Party for over a 
hundred guests, the conference papers were not scheduled 
until April 26. We thought we had plenty of time to obtain 
our visas. Here, however, a few facts need to be kept in mind 
in order perhaps to grasp what followed. 

A few months prior to submitting our visa applica- 
tions and documentation for my wife, Clare, and myself, I had 



been a guest at the Russian Embassy on the occasion of the 
commemoration of the Soviets' heroic victory at Stalingrad 
in World War II. I had played a very small role in the program 
by providing the director of the program of poetry-readings 
and battle newsreels (supplemented by the at times lengthy 
recollections of medal-bedecked veterans) with the text of 
the congratulatory telegrams President Roosevelt sent to 
Josef Stalin after the German surrender at Stalingrad in Janu- 
ary of 1943. Thus I was not a complete stranger at the em- 
bassy. 

Furthermore, during the past year I corresponded 
with Yuri N. Baturin, when he was serving as director of the 
Russian National Security Council in Yeltsin's cabinet. 
Baturin translated Carroll in his spare time, perhaps as a com- 
mentary on Russian politics, and he had sent me a copy of 
his published translation of Carroll's pamphlet "The Dynam- 
ics of a Parti-cle". In the middle of our correspondence, in 
June 1997, Baturin, whose reform measures had infuriated 
leaders in the Russian army, was suddenly fired by Boris 
Yeltsin. The last thing to be borne in mind is the title of the 
talk I planned to give at the conference: "Lewis Carroll and 
Political Correctness". 

The conference, as I said, was scheduled for April 
26, 1998. Originally Ms. Sinitsyna and the other organizers 
had planned to open the exhibition with the conference, but 
one of the main Russian speakers, the brilliant Russian trans- 
lator of Lewis Carroll, Nina Mikailovna Demurova, had to be 
in New York at the end of March to deliver the first Stan Marx 
Memorial Lecture at New York University. So while Professor 
Demurova was here lecturing in the United States, we sub- 
mitted all of our documents to the Russian consulate and 
waited. And we waited. And we waited. As our departure 
date approached and we were still without our visas, we went 
down to the consulate, fronting on little Tunlaw Street ("wal- 
nut" backwards), to make personal inquiries. We were told 
our visas would not be ready until May 9. Complaints were 
fruitless. Pleading was in vain. We sent a flurry of e-mail 
messages to our host in Moscow, who then faxed, e-mailed, 
and even phoned the Russian Embassy in Washington. Ms. 
Sinitsyna and the officials of the library were told that our 
application was "suspicious" and a second confirmation in 
writing would be required of the Library and the Foreign 
Ministry. Even the day before the conference was to take 
place in Moscow with speakers from the United Kingdom 
and Russia, we went one last time to the embassy, having 
quickly packed our suitcases in the hope of getting the visas 
at the last minute, flying up to Kennedy, and from Kennedy 
getting a flight to Moscow. The grim visa clerk said "No, it is 
impossible." 

At that point we realized we were not going to be 
able to get to Moscow in time for the conference and were so 
dispirited that we gave up all thought of going to Russia. 
And then we spoke to Professor Demurova, who was just 
about ready to return to Moscow from her stay in the U.S., 
and she persuaded us to come to Moscow anyway. Although 
we missed the conference, Ms. Sinitsyna arranged for me 
and Professor July Danilov, who was unable to be present at 



the Library on April 26 due to schedule conflicts, to deliver 
our papers at the annual meeting of the English Speaking 
Union of Moscow. 

After the long flight from Washington to Frankfurt 
and from Frankfurt to Moscow, we arrived without our bag- 
gage at Sheremetyev Airport on May 13 in the midst of a 
drenching rain — it was delayed in Frankfurt. Professor 
Demurova and her brother, the film director Mikail 
Mikailovitch Demurov, met us at the airport. The journey 
from Sheremetyev into Moscow took almost as long as the 
flight from Frankfurt to Moscow. In addition to the complica- 
tions caused by the rain, traffic was snarled to a standstill 
because of a bomb threat at one of the Moscow railway sta- 
tions. I learned the Russian word for "traffic jam", what we 
call a bottleneck: probka, literally the cork in a bottle. 

We finally arrived at the little private hotel on 
Sadovichnesnaya used by the guests of the Library and the 
Russian Nuclear Research Commission, where we were ever 
so warmly welcomed by our host, Ms. Synitsyna. Our first 
full day in Moscow was devoted to sightseeing and a splen- 
did private tour of the Tretyakov Gallery. No probka any- 
where. On the next day about sixty people assembled in the 
grand Oval Gallery of the Library for Foreign Literature for 
the English-Speaking Union meeting. The "Oval Gallery" was 
of course a perfect square whose high bookcases along the 
walls reached to the ceiling and were filled with rare 1 7th- 
1 8th century books. Following welcoming introductory re- 
marks by the Director of the Library and a brief business 
meeting, Professor Nina Demurova introduced me. 

I gave a brief address in Russian summarizing the 
main points of my paper, "Lewis Carroll and Political Correct- 
ness", and then read the text in English at a pace just below 
normal. Each member of the audience had been provided 
with a Russian translation of the text of my lecture. Professor 
Yuli Danilov (or "July" as his name was playfully listed in the 
program, so "July" followed August), a very distinguished 
Russian mathematician and physicist, spoke next. He offered 
some introductory remarks in English and then delivered his 
talk on Lewis Carroll in Russian. Surprisingly there were no 
questions at the end of the formal session, but at the recep- 
tion afterwards many people had questions for Professor 
Danilov and me. And so in spite of the distressing obstacles 
at the beginning of our trip, we thoroughly enjoyed our "Rus- 
sian Journey". 

[There was also a simultaneous exhibition at the same Li- 
brary of " P re- Rafael it e Photography, Art, and Poetry" 
which featured six ofDodgson 's photographs.] 



Down the passage which we did not take 
Towards the door we never opened 
Into the rose-garden 

T.S.Eliot 
Burnt Norton 1.12-14 



The Lewis Carroll Centenary Programme 

Christ Church, Oxford, 16-22 August, 1998 

Sponsored by the Lewis Carroll Society (U.K.) and the 

University of Oxford Department for Continuing Education 

"The conference was a remarkable team effort " —jh, and in 
this spirit the following article was assembled from reports 
from Jeanne & Dean Harper, Cindy Watter, Germaine Weaver, 
and Molly Martin. 

For seven days in August, the beautiful city of Ox- 
ford was "bombarded" with 1 52 Alice lovers from fifteen na- 
tions, with but a single purpose — to learn more about the 
don who once lived in the hallowed walls of Christ Church. 

"The tone of the week was set when I registered at the 
conference and Anne Clarke Amor insisted on carrying 
my bags to my room. I am sure they weighed more than 
she did! One of the fears some of the first-timers had 
expressed to each other was that the celebrated keepers 
of the Carrollian flame would be cliquish, but we quickly 
saw that was unfounded, and we settled into a delightful 
and memorable week. The very first thing I noticed, upon 
leaving my room, was a striking-to-the-point-of-fear-in- 
spiring statue of Dean Liddell hovering over the gate- 
way. I had to wonder what he would have thought about 
all the hoopla over his onetime sublibrarian. 

Everyone looked out for us: the programme organizers 
even stationed themselves along St. Aldate's so we 
wouldn't be tempted to jaywalk. Given the mad speeders 
who for some reason prefer to drive on the wrong side of 
the street, this was a very sound idea." - cw 

Each morning began with a delicious breakfast in 
the Great Hall, and then on to the chaplaincy for two lec- 
tures; afternoons, we had our choice of nine tours, below; in 
the evenings a variety of "entertainments" was offered. 

SUNDAY 

Lecture I: "'Who are you?', said the caterpillar." 

Edward Wakeling noted that this was not a promising open- 
ing for a conversation between Alice and the caterpillar, but 
he used it as an opening for a discussion of Charles Lutwidge 
Dodgson, who was somewhat contradictory, he felt: highly 
intellectual, yet remote; seemingly shy and retiring, but seek- 
ing out the important people of the day. "Combining erudi- 
tion and kindness to an unusual degree", Wakeling talked 
about CLD's early life and family background. 

Evensong. Several of us who attended the Carroll 
memorial noticed, on the wall to the left of the cathedral door, 
a listing of those Ch.Ch. men who had fallen in the Great War. 
Among them was a familiar name: Leopold Reginald 
Hargreaves. This historic church, in which Dodgson attended 
daily services, the order of worship for Evensong , the music, 
and the reading by Amy Williams, approximately Alice's age, 
provided us some poignant moments. The readings were 
Matthew 18:1-10 (Dodgson 's {pere} favorite). The Psalm 
that was read contains CLD's favorite text (Psalm 1 07:30); in 
fact, the entire service was based on hymns he liked, a ser- 



mon he preached, and the sermon Dean Paget gave after the 
deaths of Carroll and Liddell. 

Dinner. We then had dinner in the Great Hall, where 
CLD took perhaps 8,000 meals (by his own estimate), enjoy- 
ing the Tudor ambiance and the good food. We observed the 
famous portrait of Dodgson on our immediate right as we 
entered, the one of Liddell at the other end of the hall, and the 
fabulous stained glass window featuring CLD, Alice Liddell, 
the Cheshire Cat and the White Rabbit. By then we were 
starving, and not even the chronically grouchy Henry VIII 
could put us off our food. The hammer-beam ceilings were 
beautiful, but more fun were the brass firedogs, featuring 
cardinals (ecclesiastical variety) with ominously stretched- 
out necks. These were mentioned later in the week as a pos- 
sible inspiration for the Alice-as-serpent episode. 

"As an American, I'd always pronounced the "g" in 
Dodgson; I was floored to find I've been saying the name 
of my favorite author incorrectly all these years! In the 
1932 centenary newsreel, Alice Hargreaves pronounces 
it 'Dodson' (as does everyone in England)." - mm 

Films. After dinner, David Schaefer showed films 
and clips from his outstanding, one-of-a-kind collection. 

MONDAY 

II: "In Full Academicals". With fascinating infor- 
mation from the letters and diaries as well as other sources, 
Edward Wakeling described Dodgson's time at Ch.Ch. from 
his undergraduate years through his retirement. He described 
the rise of a very intelligent, albeit poor young man to a 
secure career. Although CLD's career path may look like a 
smooth trajectory to us, there were many small frustrations 
along the way. A big one was having had to delay his studies 
because of the lack of available rooms. The young nobles 
who infested Ch. Ch. had a pretty good deal: they could keep 
their hunters at college, skip tutorials, drink to excess, and 
take up living quarters! They wore little gold tassels on their 
headgear, from whence comes the term "tuft hunter" (Mrs. 
Liddell's hobby). One feature of his life at Oxford was his 
writing of pamphlets, some of which were quite witty, par- 
ticularly when he objected to the numerous changes bought 
about by the activist Dean Liddell. 

in: "Lewis Carroll and the Liddells". "Anne Clark 
Amor knows everything about the Liddells" - cw. She is very 
sympathetic to the Dean, and read his affecting words about 
the death of his little son; also from the letters he wrote to his 
young and socially ambitious fiancee, where he warned her 
of the "vanity and vexation of spirit" that would of necessity 
accrue to all who entered the social ramble. So, he was ap- 
pointed to take over the Westminster school, got married, 
and instantly began to mix in high society! His beautiful wife 
was an enormous success. ACA believes that CLD's friend- 
ship with the children came about because, as the oldest 
boy, he had been encouraged to look after his younger broth- 
ers and sisters. (Indeed, he took care of his sisters until his 
death.) He was no doubt delighted when a family moved into 
the Deanery. It was very easy to imagine him looking out the 
library windows into the lovely garden underneath... 



Entertainments. There were a number of evening 
"entertainments" — the difficult task for us being to choose 
only three of the six selections offered — which included 
trying Dodgson's arithmetic methods, playing some of his 
games, testing our knowledge at Quiz night, and discussing 
how Carroll's books have made their way throughout the 
globe. 

In "Alice Around the World", Selwyn gave every- 
one in the room a chance to speak. Representatives from at 
least nine different countries were in the audience. They shared 
their difficulties of publishing Alice in a foreign language or 
talked about their 
Carroll Society. We 
heard about the new 
Australian and Cana- 
dian Societies. 
Kazumi Goto and 
Yoshi Momma shared 
posters from their 
Japanese meetings — 
we were amazed that 
the Japanese Society 
meets 1 times a year. 
With a smile, Kazumi 
noted, "Japan is a 
small country!" Rina 
Litvin-Biberman from 
Israel read her re- 
cently published 
"Jabberwocky" in 
Hebrew. Her transla- 
tion of ,4 Win Hebrew 
was published last 
year and she is work- 
ing on TTLG. Other 
speakers were from 
Slovenia, the Nether- 
lands, Brazil, etc. 



TUESDAY 



tV-* 



IV: "And 

what is the use of a book," thought Alice, "without pictures 
or conversations?" Selwyn Goodacre, in "a lively, opinion- 
ated and highly theatrical performance" spoke on the epi- 
sodic nature of the books. In a critical examination, Goodacre 
indicated how well each episode works in what could have 
been a problem: one child meeting a series of adult charac- 
ters. Carroll constructed the episodes so that Alice is either 
on a equal footing with an adult, e.g. sitting at the head of the 
table; or having the support of an adult. He allowed as how 
CLD may well have been an outstanding photographer of 
children, "but would we be here today if he had not written 
the Alice books? T think not! ' I can hear you cry!" He pointed 
out that the Alice books are among the very few children's 
books to which people repeatedly return. We enjoyed his 
description of the tea party, which contained three very 
strong personalities. Alice achieves peer status by winning 



a false argument, and taking the position of authority at the 
head of the table. While he was talking about how well Alice 
handled the servants at the duchess' house and the croquet 
party (she knew how to talk to the gardeners and became 
quite miffed at the frog footman's "idiotic" behavior), we 
wondered if CLD somehow foresaw enchanting little Alice 
becoming very much her mother's daughter! Goodacre 
pointed out that the violence in the Alice books is tempered 
by the genius of Carroll: it is funny and controlled. He also 
noted that it is not a coincidence that children's books, after 
Alice, became noted for higher quality illustrations. He gave 

a list of 10 ideas that 
Carroll pioneered: the 
journey into strange 
lands (E. Nesbit; C.S. 
Lewis); the quest for 
the golden garden — 
possibly because of 
the difficulty getting 
into many of the gar- 
dens in Oxford! (E. 
Nesbit again; The Se- 
cret Garden); the ve- 
hicle for humor (in 
general, there had not 
been much humor in 
children's books) ; a 
message (also C.S. 
Lewis) that included 
good manners, inde- 
pendent minds, and 
the ability to argue 
without being ex- 
tremely officious; an 
extemporaneous tale 
{Wind in the Willows; 
Winnie the Pooh); a 
satire of contemporary 
life; instruction in logic 
and mathematics; lan- 
guage play; a non- 
sense story, including anthropomorphic animals, that led to 
a whole line of books; finally, a strong character {Mary 
Poppins). 

V: "Mystic, awful was the process". This was a 
fascinating analysis by Edward Wakeling of Dodgson's work 
as a pioneering Victorian photographer, illustrated with CLD's 
own photographs, all the more timely because the National 
Portrait Gallery in London had simultaneously mounted an 
exhibit of his works (and a camera "made of sliding folding 
rosewood"). Dodgson set high standards for himself both 
technically and artistically. Photographs by CLD are still com- 
ing to light (a totally new album sold at auction last year, for 
example); there may be as many as three thousand in all. He 
noted the need for a catalog of these prints. 

Wakeling placed his oeuvre in the context of the 
time; for example, the photograph of Alice Liddell as "The 




Beggar Maid". Today "we see an image that Dodgson did 
not intend"; many people see it as a suggestive, if not down- 
right seductive, picture, which says a great deal about our 
culture. Then, the beggar child simply "fed the sentimental 
appetite of the upper classes." In other words, deplore pov- 
erty, but don't do anything about it. The extraordinarily di- 
rect expression was not designed to be provocative, but was 
a result of the lengthy time lapse needed to make an expo- 
sure. 

Evening. Selwyn and Edward conducted a meeting 
on rare Alice books and their collectors. Selwyn said "This 
meeting will not be a dual lecture but an interaction work- 
shop!" But the "dual" turned into a duel as Tweedledee and 
Tweedledum tried to outdo each other. If Edward were de- 
scribing his copy, Selwyn would pull the identical edition 
from his pile of books — only it would be a presentation 
copy. Or one would have a light blue Snark, but the other 
one would have a darker blue. Collectors Charlie Lovett, Alan 
Tannenbaum and David Schaefer 
added to our amusement with stories 
of their Alice finds. 

Elsewhere, Sarah Stanfield 
was discussing the unsuccessful 
Lewis Carroll theater plays. She gave 
each of the 1 8 people in the group sev- 
eral parts to read. Surprisingly, no one 
was timid and the evening was filled 
with laughter, especially when our 
Japanese friends sang their parts! 

WEDNESDAY 

VI: "Still she haunts me: the 
life and times of Alice Liddell". In this, 
as in her previous lecture, Anne Clarke 
Amor made the Liddell family as famil- 
iar as old friends. She believes that 
CLD was indeed in love with Alice Liddell. Now, when you 
hear Veronica Hickie read "Faces in the Fire" or read "Child 
of the pure unclouded brow" yourself, this can seem terribly 
tragic. As usual, her presentation was sympathetic, thorough, 
and fair to her subjects. 

VII: "The Lewis Carroll Collection and Archive at 
Ch.Ch." Librarian Janet McMullin and archivist Judith 
Curthoys discussed the two Lewis Carroll collections of the 
college. In the archives, there are two small shelves of CLD's 
papers, which show Dodgson's obsession with details, such 
as ones pertaining to the wine cellar. Also among the library 
holdings are Caryl Hargreaves' collection of books and let- 
ters, Alice's sketch books and a variety of secondary mate- 
rial about Carroll. Miss McMullin's comment about CLD when 
he was in charge of the common room: "It is hard to tell 
whether he was very diligent or extremely fussy." A favorite 
Dodgson note is his recommendation of his brother's mar- 
malade, another a letter to Alice from her father: "I do not 
think you can refuse Mr. Dodgson..." It is clear Alice con- 
sulted with the dean about whether she should allow the 
manuscript to be reprinted in facsimile. Ch.Ch. also has the 




"Your generous donation," said the Dodo, 
"will help us in our quest to find a cure for 
extinction." 



Cheshire Cat flag flown by the ship that returned Alice to 
England from the Columbia festivities. 

VIII: "Lewis Carroll and the World of Victorian 
Art and Entertainment". Hugues Lebailly, Carrollian scholar 
and member of the French Society of Victorian Studies, dis- 
cussed CLD as a "cultured, refined, and sensitive" observer 
of the Victorian arts scene, whose records are very valuable 
to us today. The diaries record a large number of visits to 
theaters (697), art galleries (over 1 87), concerts and ballets 
(123), and they and his letters testify to his friendships with 
major artists; he visited artists' studios and critiqued over 
two hundred paintings. 

"Although I don't think Dodgson is going to give the 
Comte de Montesquieu any competition as a boulevard- 
ier of the first rank, it was a relief to see that the man 
didn't just sit around in his room chewing his nails and 
complaining about Christ Church on his off hours from 
being a genius." - cw 

THURSDAY 

IX: "An animal that writes 
letters". Mark Richards entertainingly 
used Dodgson's definition of "man" to 
examine the history of his letter writ- 
ing, which began at the age of five. 
Mark described the changes in the 
postal system in 1 840 when CLD was a 
child, which made letter writing very 
much a "craze of the penny post" (at 
240/7. to the £). Using extracts from the 
approximately fifty thousand Dodgson 
letters, he provided many examples of 
his humor — nonsense letters about 
writing letters, inventions e.g., a rebus 
letter, a spiral letter, tiny writing, a 
"fake" letter, shaking writing ("I'm getting over my fear of 
you"), and mirror image writing. In 1 888, Dodgson purchased 
a Hammond typewriter, kept as a novelty and not much used. 
Richards suggested that the letters may be Dodgson's great- 
est work. He also read the famous letter from CLD's father, 
which certainly suggests that there is a gene for nonsense. 
X: "Sense and nonsense: Lewis Carroll as Poet". 
The "emphatic" Dr. Selwyn Goodacre returned, telling us that 
most people are familiar only with Carroll's nonsense verse, 
but he thinks the "serious verse was poetry of the highest 
order." Some of Carroll's poetry was inspired, some was run- 
of-the-mill, "like Wordsworth", he cracked. Carroll was a "prac- 
ticed poet from an early age", experimenting with meter and 
trying things out. In his poems, rhyme and meaning fit per- 
fectly, and he was a master of parody and humor. The first 
poem to appear under his name was "Solitude" — perhaps 
his worst poem, yet one which Selwyn "personally feels 
charming, heart-felt and delightful." His best poem, Dr. 
Goodacre feels, is "How Shall I be a Poet?" He mentioned the 
"homely humor and vitality of the Rectory Umbrella". He 
also pointed out that Carroll's mastery of poetry coincided 
with the mastery of his prose writing, and expanded upon 



8 



"All in the golden afternoon", praising its "technical bril- 
liance". He said that the third verse summarizes everything 
about Lewis Carroll — with short, clipped words, then some 
gentler tones, internal rhymes, and of course, nonsense. The 
poem finishes with a distinct "mystical flavor". In "Child of 
the pure unclouded brow", Carroll "goes back to the source 
of his inspiration". Goodacre praised the "unmaudlin nostal- 
gia" and gentle rhythm. He asked, "How many children's 
books successfully introduce high-quality poetry to their 
audience?" He named two (Winnie-the-Pooh and Rebecca of 
Sunnybrook Farm), but Carroll's were the first. He also 
pointed out that in AW, Alice recites the poetry. In TTLG, it is 
just the reverse — the other characters do the reciting. 
Goodacre paid tribute to "the most erudite character, Humpty 
Dumpty." He also discussed his specialty, The Hunting of 
the Snark, pointing out the contrasting rhythms and sounds. 
Unfortunately, by the 1870s Carroll's genius had begun to 
desert him, and "charm has given way to a coarse sentimen- 
tality". Goodacre also mentioned that 
"The Evidence" is pure nonsense, al- 
though people are often tempted to 
sort it out. "Believe me, I've tried and 
it can't be done." He ended with "You 
have only to look at other people's 
parodies to appreciate Lewis Carroll." 
That evening brought us to 
the Old Firehouse, now a small theater, 
where Kevin Moore, in a one man 
show called Crocodiles in Cream, pre- 
sented different facets of Carroll's life. 
All of this was in Carroll's own words, 
selected by David Horlock from the 
stories, poems, diaries and letters. 

FRIDAY 




WdSKff/ 



XI. "Sylvie and Bruno: its 
value as literature and as a vehicle for Carroll's ideas about 
life". In the eleventh lecture, Mark Richards (who is pos- 
sessed of "a dry wit"), examined the problematical Sylvie 
and Bruno . Here Carroll was at his best and at his worst. It 
seems that in these two books, the aging Carroll wanted to 
use up all of his leftover material. The books began as a 
story, "Bruno's Revenge", published in Aunt Judy's Maga- 
zine in 1 867, which led to his being asked for more. The books 
drift between two worlds — an imaginary world with fairies 
and a real world. In his explorations with time, Carroll showed 
a fascination with science (and "science fiction"). Most read- 
ers are deterred by the use of baby talk in these books. Al- 
though Carroll showed some lack of literary judgment, 
Richards persuasively argued that they are worth reading 
because, if nothing else, one learns about Carroll himself. 

He sees two characteristics that stand out in this 
book: a feeling that time was running out, and a desire to use 
up all his available material. "He was rather like a dressmaker 
who felt the need to make something out of the remaining 
scraps. Nothing could be wasted." 



"I think it most admirable," said Alice, "that 
you gave up a thriving law practice to be with 
this lovely child." 



XII: "Lewis Carroll: the Man and the Myth". The 

final lecture was given by Anne Clark Amor. In the 20th Cen- 
tury there has emerged wide interest in the private lives of 
public figures, but in the 19th century, private lives were 
private lives, which makes it difficult to separate myth from 
reality when it comes to examining Dodgson or others of his 
time. In brief, he chose to remain single. It took so long to 
establish a career, especially if one did not have a rich family's 
support, that many men made late marriages, as did Liddell, 
Pusey, and so forth. CLD decided early on that that was not 
for him. And on the great question of Carroll's interest in 
young girls, ACA said we should go to the sources and read 
the many letters and reminiscences of his child friends. No- 
where is there the slightest hint of impropriety. On the con- 
trary, all his child friends, when grown, describe him with 
great affection. ACA said that his famous remark about hav- 
ing no use for boys was simply a joking overstatement. At 
anv rate, the obsession with Carroll's sex life is more a reflec- 
tion on our society than his! 

Before our final Gala Dinner, 
we assembled on the lawn of Tom Quad 
for champagne and final picture tak- 
ing. We felt that we had become a true 
community. 

"I did not have the slightest desire 
to jerk the tablecloth out from under 
the House's Royal Doulton, but I was 
dying for the salt cellars and wine 
bottles to take wing and the table 
lights to shoot up to the ceiling Then, 
Edw. Wakeling introduced the re- 
doubtable Mavis Batey, authority on 
Jane Austen, author of several Alice 
books, wife of Ch.Ch. treasurer, and 
savior of the free world because of 
her work on Enigma . Goodness, what an impressive per- 
son. And charming and funny, too. Her descriptions of 
the Ch.Ch. bureaucracy and her efforts to reform it just a 
little were straight out of Screwtape. Quite a night!" - cw 

SATURDAY 

Saturday morning was devoted to a question and 
comment period directed to a panel of Carroll scholars: Anne 
Clark Amor, Selwyn Goodacre, Charles Lovett and Edward 
Wakeling. Among the topics discussed were: Lewis Carroll's 
interest in science; the contention that the Alice stories were, 
in reality, a history of the Oxford movement, which Carroll 
denied; the London plays that Dodgson chose not to see, 
e.g. plays by Ibsen, Shaw and Wilde; and Dodgson's failure 
to see logic as a basis for mathematics. Then closing remarks 
to this memorable week were given by Edward Wakeling, 
Anne Clark Amor and John Harris, after which we made our 
final farewells over coffee and tea. 

1 Cindy's hyperbole refers to Mavis' work as part of a team under 
Alan Turing that broke the German "Enigma" code during World War 
II. She has been awarded the MBE, and is also the author of many 
books on historic English gardens. 



THE TOURS 

...were another highlight of the trip. There were various 
guides on the same tour on different (or the same) days. 

"Anyone may visit Ch.Ch., but not just anyone may go 
into the suite that was Dodgson's home for so many years, 
or visit the Dean's house where Alice once lived!" - gw 

Tour A, with Edward Wakeling was "Lewis Carroll's 
Christ Church". We began with the room Dodgson occupied 
in 1 862 as an undergraduate and then visited some of the ten 
rooms he lived in from 1 868 until his death in 1 898. We exam- 
ined Tom Tower, Ch.Ch. College, the Great Hall, and the Ca- 
thedral. The Deanery is not normally open, but this day the 
Dean and his family were away so we were privileged to see 
those rooms. We were stunned by the beauty of the Lexicon 
staircase, the William Morris wallpaper, the "nursery" or day- 
room for the children whom 
Dodgson often visited, and from 
which he could look across the 
quad to his own rooms — and from 
the other side out onto the gar- 
den. 

"Most movies show white- 
washed wainscoting in nurser- 
ies — not so the Deanery's — 
it's entombed with severe dark 
paneling. 'Tis no wonder the 
Liddell girls longed to escape 
into the beautiful gardens!" - mm 

The Dean's study looks 
out onto the Deanery garden made 
famous by Carroll. From there, we 
could see the library where the 
young sublibrarian toiled. Once in 
the garden we saw what might be 

the "Cheshire Cat tree" (because of its branches extending 
out horizontally and now heavily propped up) and the green 
door in the garden wall. In the well tended perennial beds — 
a true English garden — one member of the tour sighted Bill 
the Lizard. 

Another version of this tour was led by Michael 
Vine, a Ch.Ch. man himself. Incidentally, Lawrence Lowe, son 
of a former Ch.Ch. Dean, was on this tour, and added to our 
knowledge and pleasure. For example, he knew that the fa- 
mous paneled nursery actually had had a second floor in- 
serted at one time. We also went 'round behind the cathe- 
dral, and saw Dean Liddell's grave, placed beneath Burne- 
Jones' stained glass window memorializing his (the Dean's) 
daughter Edith. We toured the cathedral, too, and went into 
the sanctum, Carroll's rooms on the other side of the Quad. 
"It's a little deflating to see his former rooms looking like a 
den for one of the less prosperous American fraternities." 
We also went to the rooms where he developed his photo- 
graphs. 

Tour B, "Lewis Carroll and the Libraries of Oxford" 
led by Michael Vine. We proceeded through Convocation 




House, through the Divinity School, up several flights of 
stairs, and into the Bodleian Library, noting the list of bene- 
factors on one wall, and ending in Duke Humfrey's Library, 
with some of its ancient manuscripts still chained to the book- 
cases. 

"On the ground floor of the Ch.Ch. library, I was de- 
lighted to see a bust of George IV, shoved in a corner and 
festooned with mops, brooms, and a Hoover! I'm not 
surprised they're running out of space. . .Mr. Vine is very 
funny, with the voice of the pudding at Alice's dinner, 
and the moral authority of Humpty Dumpty. He knows a 
lot, and if he doesn't know it he is more than willing to 
make it up! He once told a busload of passengers how 
Alice used to walk around the park with her arm around a 
deer's neck..." -cw 

Tour D: "Lewis Carroll and the Museums of Ox- 
ford". Edw. Wakeling (yet another 
Ch.Ch. man) took us on the tour. 
We saw the special Alice exhibit at 
the Museum of Oxford, just down 
the street in the old Town hall. The 
University Museum proved to be 
particularly charming, as it was in- 
spired by Ruskin, meaning to say, 
inspired by Venice. It is a wonder- 
ful example of exuberant Victoriana. 
There we saw pieces of the famous 
Dodo, said to be the first species 
completely extinguished by man, 
and one of the Dodo portraits. Also 
the giant "tunny fish". It was here 
that CLD took some of his "great 
men" portraits, during the Evolu- 
tion debates. Afterwards, we stag- 
gered over to the Ch.Ch. picture 
gallery, and looked at the Carrolliana there. This museum has 
one of the Carroll photograph albums, plus several of his 
steward notes, written in purple ink. 

Tour F. Michael Vine and Selwyn Goodacre took 
our group to St. Frideswide's Church in the Botley Road, and 
from there out to Binsey (St. Margaret's Church with the 
"Treacle Well" and a graveyard simply packed with Pricketts). 
We also walked along the path next to the river at Godstow 
and stood (we feel sure) on the very site where Carroll told 
his tale, the first time. A "golden afternoon", as Selwyn 
pointed out, with the sun shining, the sky glowing, the spires 
gleaming, and the swans swanning, all conspiring to create a 
memory of a beautiful day. 

Tour G: Sarah Stanfield and John Harris led another 
tour, "Numeham Courtenay: Looking-Glass Land". We went 
by coach to Harcourt House, a Palladian villa now owned by 
a religious group. The Liddell family had ties with the 
Harcourts and a Harcourt was a friend of Dodgson. In their 
day, groups coming by boat could bring picnics and land on 
the property Tuesday and Thursday afternoons. One could 
appreciate how much the little girls must have loved those 



"No more for me, Joe." 



10 



outings: rowing to Nuneham along the winding river, enjoy- 
ing picnics, having the attention of adults, learning to navi- 
gate a boat, and of course, the stories. 

"Though all the tours were wondrous, following Mavis 
Bately through "Looking-Glass Land" at Nuneham was 
by far the most extraordinary! Mavis, author of The World 
of Alice, knew just where to find the huts that Carroll and 
his friends would use while picnicking on the Harcourt 
Estate. Her arms encompassed the sundial while holding 
TennieFs illustration from "Jabberwocky" in her hands. 
We listened to her stories about how Lewis Carroll would 
imagine the Red Queen and the White Knight in these 
beautiful woods! It was hard to imagine this fairyland 
was just five miles from Oxford!" - gw 

Tour H. Another tour, "Lewis Carroll's Oxford" , led 
by Edward Wakeling, began at Meadow Gate, which was 
built by Dean Liddell in 1860 in the Gothic style; and then 
down the Broadwalk between trees planted by Liddell, onto 
the River Isis along a pasture owned by Ch.Ch. College, then 
back toward the center of Oxford along a narrow stream with 
its small boat "ferry" to the Ch.Ch. playing fields, and into 
several colleges where Dodgson had some connections, in- 
cluding Pembroke College ( with its beautiful and prize win- 
ning garden), the Girls' Central School (where Dodgson taught 
logic), Trinity College, Oriel College, and finally to Corpus 
Christi, where we could look out upon the enclosed garden 
where the Liddell children played. 

On the last day of the conference, Ellie (Schaefer- 
Salins) read us a poem she had written. Here 'tis: 

The delegates were working at Ch.Ch. 

Working with all their might. 
They did their very best to teach 

About Carroll — oh so right — 
And this was scarcely odd because 

They never slept at night. 

Oh Edward come and talk to us! 

The audience did demand. 
A pleasant talk, a pleasant walk, 

An announcement is at hand. 
And when you're done, we'd like to hear 

Selwyn, Mark and Anne. 

I see a book, a teapot there. 

Let's buy two, no three, no four! 
The collectors bought up everything 

And wanted more and more. 
I suppose they'd better stop now, 

They're going to miss their tour! 

The tours by Alan, Michael and more 

Showed us everything to see. 
Binsey, a Dodo, several museums 

And of course the Deanery, 
Libraries, Tom Tower, a wine cellar, 

So, where's the cat in a tree? 



Thanks also goes to Sarah, Catherine, 

Mr. Harris and Ms. Denney. 
I always wore my name tag, 

And never forgot my key. 
The meals were great, the conference shop nice, 

But what happened to my money? 

Carroll wrote here, Dodgson lived there; 

Your facts they are the best. 
I've learned of his life and relationships; 

Now will there be a test? 
I really should go home now because 

I haven't had a rest! 

The time has come (dear Ellie said), 

To say good-bye, I fear. 
Thanks so much to everyone; 

Friends new and old are dear. 
I'll miss you all, let's keep in touch, 

For years and years and years! 

The Lewis Carroll Society and the University of 
Oxford, in the form of accomplished lecturers Edward 
Wakeling, Selwyn Goodacre, Anne Clark Amor and Mark 
Richards, along with Catherine Richards, John Harris, 
Susan Stanfield, Michael Vine, Alan White, and Liz Denny, 
are to be deeply thanked and congratulated for creating a 
conference that was purposeful, scholarly, and abundant 
in humor, good fun and friendship. 

"They played on Lewis Carroll's wit and matched 
it with their own." - gw 

Still she haunts us... 




This wonderfiil sculpture by Graham Piggott was presented to Morton 
Cohen at his celebratory dinner March 28th at our New York meeting 
(KL 57, p.5). For how to contact Mr. Piggott, also see KL 57, p. 16. 



11 



Leaves from the Deanery Garden 

1 . A Puzzle: 

Mine cannot have been the only eyes to widen in amazement 
on reading, in the excellent Knight Letter 57 (p. 19), that the 
phrase "mad as a hatter" was coined by Lewis Carroll (as a 
witting corruption of "mad as an adder") at a time when "'mad' 
meant 'venomous', not 'insane'." Is it possible that using 
"mad" to mean "insane" entirely postdates the Mad Hatter? 

No! This notion — credited by Barbara Mikkelson (on a web 
page) to the aptly titled 5, 000 Facts and Fancies by William 
Henry P. Phyfe (1901) and A Dictionary of Common Falla- 
cies by Phillip Ward (1980) — is a fallacy and fancy of aston- 
ishing audacity, given that it is so easily falsified by a mere 
glance in a dictionary. My dictionary is the 1971 OED. 

Mad derives from an Old English form of madden, ("to ren- 
der insane"), which derives from Old Saxon and Teutonic 
words meaning "to incapacitate" 
(literally, "to cripple"). The adjec- 
tive mad has meant "mentally in- 
capacitated" for nearly a thou- 
sand years and has never meant 
"venomous". Through the centu- 
ries of English literature (Gower, 
Caxton, Shakespeare, Swinburne, 
the King James Bible, Pepys, 
Boswell, Tennyson) mad has 
meant "insane" — and "insane- 
like" ("mad fury", "mad sugges- 
tion", "mad haste"). 

Did Lewis Carroll coin the phrase 
"mad as a hatter"? No! (Does it 
even appear anywhere in his writ- 
ings?) When he was yet a child 
the expression was well enough 
established to be used without 
explanation: "Sister Sail. . .walked 
out of the room, as mad as a hat- 
ter", wrote the American Thomas 

Haliburton in an 1 837-40 series of newspaper sketches called 
The Clockmaker, or Sayings and Doings of Samuel Slick of 
Slickville. And Thomas Hughes, recreating Rugby as it was 
some years before Charlie Dodgson attended it, wrote in his 
famous 1856 novel Tom Browns Schooldays, "He's a very 
good fellow, but as mad as a hatter." 

As our friend Martin Gardner points out in The Annotated 
Alice (Clarkson N. Potter, 1 960, /?.90), the phrases "mad as a 
hatter" and "mad as a March hare" were already current when 
"The Mad Tea-Party" was written, or there would have been 
no point in creating the Mad Hatter and the March Hare. In 
the same note he acknowledges the hypothesis that "mad as 
a hatter" is a corruption of "mad as an adder", but finds it 
more probable that the expression derives from the psychotic 
symptoms of hatters reacting to toxic levels of mercury used 




to cure felt. (His More Annotated Alice [p. 78] refers the 
reader to the modern medical debate about this.) 

Barbara Mikkelson calls the mercury hypothesis a "pop ety- 
mology" but apparently offers no evidence beyond citing 
the demonstrably unreliable Phyfe and Ward. In preparing 
his Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer in- 
vestigated the "mad as an adder" origin but concluded, in 
1897, that "evidence is wanting." A century later, the situa- 
tion seems much the same! 

I am willing to believe that "mad as an adder" was actually 
encountered from time to time in the nineteenth century, but 
why should we assume it was the original expression? My 
personal guess is that country people, more familiar with 
adders than hatters, were trying to make sense of the 
unaspirated "mad as a 'atter" as spoken by certain urbanites. 
(In the same way some American country folk "corrected" 
asparagus to sparrow-grass.) 

2. A Query 

Although I was in London at the 
time, I was unaware of the auc- 
tion you reported (p. 22) of the 
"painting 'Girl with Lilac' by 
Sophie Anderson which used to 
hang over Dodgson 's mantel- 
piece." For years I have vainly 
searched through books and 
collections of Pre-Rafaelite 
paintings trying to find so much 
as a mention of Arthur Hughes' 
"The Lady of the Lilacs", which 
Derek Hudson (Lewis Carroll: 
An Illustrated Biography, 1954), 
says Dodgson brought to hang 
in his rooms in Oxford. Query: 
are these two paintings one and 
the same, and was Mr. Hudson 
in error? 

3. A Plea 

Is it possible that someone with authority — perhaps Morton 
Cohen, perhaps a representative of our Society — could 
politely correct the entry on "Dodgson, Charles Lutwidge" 
in The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Lan- 
guage (Third Edition), which identifies Alice Liddell (un- 
named) as "the young daughter of a friend"? I believe that in 
his biography Prof. Cohen refers to Dodgson and Dean 
Liddell as "enemies"! Surely a more accurate, succinct word- 
ing is conceivable. 

Thank you for your patience and for producing a superbly 
entertaining newsletter. 

Sincerely, 

Gary Brockman 
Madison CT 




12 



Thank you, Gary, for a most interesting letter. Let me ad- 
dress your points one by one: 

1. I generally very much agree with you. I printed the item, 
beginning "Barbara Mikkelson has this to say... " much as 
I would "Richard Wallace maintains... (that CLD was Jack 
the Ripper)" or "Karolyn Leach believes... (that Dodgson 
was in love with Alice's sister [or mother, or whoever it is 
this week]). " It was certainly not an endorsement of the 
theory, just an acknowledgment of a dissenting opinion on 
a commonly held belief. I do not, however, think you can 
accurately say that "mad" has never meant "venomous", 
when its most common usage is as a synonym for "angry". 
For instance, if I were not familiar with the phrase, 1 would 
be unable to determine out of context whether Sister Sail 
was mad.angry or mad.deranged in the quote provided. 
But overall I do heartily concur with you, and thank you for 
such an articulate response and so engaging a theory. 

The ancient lineage of these metaphors is unquestioned (e.g. 
The Two Noble Kinsmen, III V 73, has a woman "mad as a 
March Hare"). Gardner's note in More Annotated Alice 
refers toy et another interpretation of "adder", namely "one 
who adds " and reports Ellis Hillman 's conjecture that it 
might be referring to a mathematician such as Dodgson 
himself, or his Cambridge acquaintance Charles Babbage. 

2. It is indeed an odd coincidence that Dodgson had two 
such similarly-named paintings. Girl with Lilac by Sophie 
Anderson (1823-1903) is the one recently sold by Christie 's 
of London for £30,000. His diary of 6 July 1865 mentions 
this portrait (of Elizabeth Turnbull) which can be seen sit- 
ting on the mantelpiece in photographs of his room at Christ 
Church. 

And hanging just over the mantelpiece was Arthur Hughes ' 
Girl with Lilacs (originally titled The Lady with the Lilac), 
which was painted on commission for CLD and acquired on 
12 October 1863. It is presently exhibited in the Art Gallery 
of Toronto. Perhaps it might be worth the journey for you to 
see the original! 

There is an excellent article "Lewis Carroll the Pre- 
Raphaelite: 'Fainting in Coils'" by Jeffrey Stern in Lewis 
Carroll Observed (Clarkson N. Potter, 1976, Edward 
Guiliano, editor) which extensively discusses the Hughes 
painting and its influence on Carroll. You can see that 
Carroll's original illustration for Alice's Adventures under 
Ground, p. 36, is modeled on this painting. 

Anderson's picture can be seen at http:// 
www.lewiscarroll.org/centenary/lilac.JPG, Hughes' at 
http: //www. cs. uwindsor. ca/units/english/projects/rossetti/ 
speaking/ compar2.htm, which also contains two articles 
on Carroll and the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood (same URL 
one level up (ending in /speaking)). Dodgson s room can 
be seen at http://www.lewiscarroll.org/centenary/room.gif 
or in Collingwood's Life and Letters, or many other sources. 

3. While relations with the Liddells eventually became 



strained, I personally don't think "friend" is entirely inap- 
propriate. He certainly had to maintain "friendly", or at 
least cordial, relations with the Dean in order to spend as 
much time with his family as he did in those days. How their 
relationship deteriorated in the after-time is not relevant. 

By the way, letters like yours are why I started "Leaves from 
the Deanery Garden ". 

The Knight Letter (56) intrigued me for many reasons but, in 
particular, two items: 

1 . The articles by Joyce Carol Oates re: her interest in Alice 

2. Ralph Steadman's familiar illustration of Alice looking at 
empty book shelves which was located just beneath the info 
on my Carroll collection going to Syracuse University. Even 
knowing what you told me I'm still giving you credit for the 
appropriate location. She [Ms. Oates] is Syracuse University 
Class of 1960 and I have been in her audience a couple of 
times. One day, maybe I will write to her about the proximity 
of her papers and my collection. 



Looking forward to your next Knight Letter. 




Kay Rossman 
Sarasota FL 



Kay is referring to the "Serendipity" department, where 
Ms. Oates narrated two lengthy (and somewhat contradic- 
tory) reactions by her younger self to the Alice books. Ms. 
Oates is a lifelong fan of Carroll, entitling one of her own 
books Wonderland, and has addressed our Society on at 
least one occasion (in Princeton, some time ago. I also gave 
a small talk at that gathering, and fondly remember her 
bemused expression when I confessed to calling the section 
of my senior thesis on my two favorite authors "Joyce/ 
Carroll Notes ".) 

My choosing of that particular illustration (frankly, it was 
based on its shape) of her "empty nest " was a fine example 
of, well, serendipity. 

One more point on the technology debate (because it leads 
directly to a second issue I'd like to discuss) and then we can 
consider the matter closed. 

No, I am not a "technophobe" (a term, like "homophobe", I 
dislike — to dispute something is not necessarily to fear it). 
However, there should be a place for technology as well as a 
place to take refuge from it, when appropriate. I believe that 
the LCSNA should fall into the latter category. For instance, 
there is a very good magazine called Victorian which, I'm 
sure, requires state-of-the-art computer technology to pro- 
duce. However, I do not wish to read of this process when 1 
look through its pages. The magazine provides an opportu- 
nity to relive another era and to embrace an earlier lifestyle, 
allowing for a new perspective on one's current world when 
finished. The nineties, it must be admitted, are something of 
a "quick-fix" era, as evidenced by the short-term relation- 
ships, special-effects films, loud music and electronic books 
which personify the decade. It is the age of immediate grati- 



13 



fication, the use-and-dispose styrotoam era. How is one to 
grow close to Lewis Carroll under such conditions as this? 
By learning what it was like living in the era that produced 
Alice. 

For, indeed, could Alice have been published today, and if 
so, what form would it take? Look at the state of children's 
publishing today, and see what the quick-fix mentality of 
today's technological world has begotten: the Goosebumps 
series. I often wonder what chance Charles Dodgson would 
have today to publish his challenging, literate little book. I 
marvel that a first-time author could secure the services of a 
world-famous illustrator, self-publish his book through a sig- 
nificant publishing house, gain mass distribution and attract 
critical attention, even in the 1860's. But Dodgson did. To- 
day, publishers would question his target audience (too liter- 
ary for kids, too imaginative for adults), they would "correct" 
his nonconformist writing style (addressing the reader, for 
instance) and assign him an editor to make "suggestions" 
{i.e. rewrite the book). Of course, he would first have had to 
find an agent (few of whom look at children's books) and that 
agent to have then found a publisher. Dodgson could never 
have self-published and garnered distribution, never gotten 
a major illustrator, never release the book as written. This 
despite all of the modern-day technological breakthroughs 
which should have revolutionized the publishing industry, 
but which instead have limited its scope. Where are the Lewis 
Carrolls and the Kenneth Grahames of today? Can anyone 
recommend a good children's book? Let's be thankful that 
Charles Dodgson was born when he was. Had it all hap- 
pened now, he'd have remained solely a teacher, never pub- 
lished, never gotten the money to travel and attend the the- 
atre as frequently, and never have been able to support his 
sisters in the fashion that he did. Nor would Alice Hargreaves 
have had a valuable manuscript to sell which would support 
her in her old age. Mr. Dodgson would have a computer, 
though. 

William M. Schaefer 
Las Vegas, NV 



/ have to disagree respectfully, William. I do not believe the 
primary purpose of the LCSNA is to encourage fantasies of 
bygone eras. It is to promote the study of the life, times, and 
works of Mr. Dodgson and to observe his influence as it 
spreads throughout many cultures and new media, as well 
as the older ones. Victorian magazine by no means "requires " 
state-of-the-art technology to produce; it could certainly 
be produced by machines with hand-set type if they so chose. 
It may belong to the genre of fantasy magazines (no differ- 
ent from Island Vacations or Star Trek ones), but I do not 
subscribe to that viewpoint. We're here, it's now, the future 
will happen, and Carroll's influence will continue to be felt. 

Having said that, please note that I do always try, whenever 
possible, to attach addresses and phone numbers to places 
and products I find through the Net. 





Your last paragraph reflects a hypothetical world, to which 
there can be no logical response. Perhaps Dodgson might 
have found an illustrator through the Net, and several self- 
published books have gone on to become classics. The list 
of Caldecott and Newberry award winners should provide 
you with at least some candidates for fine writing for chil- 
dren (write to me again in 2099 for an accurate appraisal), 
although it could be argued that CLD was not really writ- 
ing for children exclusively; and that would open up whole 
new categories of authors for comparison (like Douglas 
Adams). Not to mention James Thurber. 

As for manuscripts, who's to say? I still do all my serious 
writing in longhand. And by the bye, a skillful editor does 
not necessarily rewrite text — unless it is beyond hope. 
Thank you for conceding that CLD would be the first to be 
fascinated by the computer, but most of all for articulating 
your views, and reminding us of other possible perspectives 
and directions for this journal. 

In the Random House "Modern Library" 's edition of The 
Complete Works of Lewis Carroll (1936), p.\66, the Red 
Queen's remark is misprinted as "If you want to get some- 
where else, you must run at last twice as fast as that!". 

Pitt Nicker 
Mill Valley CA 

Well, now we know where the phrase "last, but not least" 
comes from. 

The recent Knight Letter, #57 referenced an animated film of 
The Hunting of the Snark. I do not have any specific infor- 
mation about that film; however, in 1 99 1 , 1 had the opportu- 
nity to view a video of an opera with orchestra based on the 
Snark. This was at Luera, New South Wales, approximately 
70 miles from Sydney, Australia. The event speaker was 
Doug Howick and his knowledge and research of the Snark 
was incredible. Doug and I, with about 5000 close personal 
friends belong to a Lumberman's organization called "Hoo- 
Hoo International" (http://www.hoo-hoo.org). Our interna- 
tional president is the "Snark of the Universe", so desig- 
nated by one of our founding members in 1 892. Gurdon is the 
site of the founding of the International Concatenated Order 
of Hoo-Hoo and is the home of our museum. Back to the 
original question. I am willing to contact my OZE connec- 
tions and try to secure a copy of the Snark opera and have 
the tape reformatted to our VHS standard if anyone is inter- 
ested. 

Christopher Goff 
Houston, TX 
CRSTuffer@aol.com 

Inevitably, and I am a bit embarrassed to write this, I noticed 
another small correction to my article that you published that 
some of your very astute readers may have already noticed: 
the line from Hamlet should read ". . .a little ere the mightiest 
(not mighty) Julius fell". I apologize, although fortunately it 
makes little difference to the overall point! In support of the 




14 




theory, however, the only other time in LC's work in which he 
used the rather unusual word "gibber" other than quoting it 
in the passage from "Phantasmagoria" was in "The Three 
Voices", which I believe was written in 1856, not too long 
after the "Stanza of Anglo-Saxon Poetry" was written. Just 
for the record! 

Best wishes, 

Alice Krinsky 

Alice Krinsky's article "Echoes of Shakespeare in the First 
Stanza of Jabberwocky" {KL 51, pp. 7-9) itself seems in part 
to be an echo, an unacknowledged echo, of Frank 
McCormick's essay "Horatio's gibber and Carroll's 
Jabberwocky" published mAnglia: Zeitschrift fur englische 
Philologie,Bd. 105, Heft 1/2, 1987, p. 152-161. Ms. Krinsky's 
argument, like McCormick's, begins with Horatio's lines from 
Act I, Scene 1 of Hamlet: "The graves stood tenantless, and 
the sheeted dead / Did squeak and gibber in the Roman 
streets." 

At the twentieth anniversary meeting of the LCSNA, at 
Princeton on Nov. 12, 1994, 1 discussed McCormick's "gib- 
ber" hypothesis in a talk I called "Jabberwocky Revisited: 
More Nonsense". In KL 49, p. 5, there appeared a brief ac- 
count of my lecture, citing Horatio's "gibber" and other gib- 
berish. 

Sincerely yours, 

August A. Imholtz, Jr. 

I'm certain Ms. Krinsky, who describes herself as being "out 
of strict academia" , is not a constant reader of the Anglia 
Zeitschrift, and I would also like to thank August for setting 
the record straight. 

I couldn't help but respond when encouraged to identify 
"Why I love Lewis Carroll" ["Leaves...", KL 51, p. 14]. My 
admiration and love originates with the Alice stories and 
goes on and on... 

• I also love wondering how much Mr. Dodgson re- 
ally loved Alice Liddell. 

• I love the man because of his imagination and how 
he shared it with those he loved and then with the world. 

• I love how it makes me laugh to picture the con- 
fused lizard Bill being kicked by an unknown force out 
of the chimney as everyone yells, "There goes Bill!". 

• I love the way Alice talks aloud to herself. It makes 
me smile as I identify. 

• I so much enjoy the creativity which brought so 
many characters to life for me. I often find time and 
again that I am laughing aloud or sitting with a broad 
grin as I get totally swept up into Wonderland or slip 
through the Looking-Glass. 

• I love picturing the sight Alice saw as she turned to 
leave the tea party only to see the sleepy dormouse 
being stuffed into the teapot. 

• I love the clumsy, sweet White Knight and how he 





felt "it would encourage him" if Alice would wave her 
handkerchief when he got to the turn in the road. 
• And, oh, how I can picture the White Knight on his 

horse amidst the setting sun. 

I could easily continue (and I will in my own mind because it 
gives pleasure to do so). I truly, truly love the Alice stories 
and in so doing touch on my love for Lewis Carroll. Yet 
words cannot say how much I love Charles Dodgson — for 
the man he was and the pureness of his heart and the words 
he shared. 

P.S. I can't explain it, but I love the following lines and every 
time I repeat them I smile — always: "In the midst of the word 
he was trying to say / In the midst of his laughter and glee / 
He had softly and suddenly vanished away / For the Snark 
was a Boojum, you see." 

Thank you for letting me share some of my thoughts. 

Cynthia A Lebie 

LC22 1 Alice@prodigy.net 

If other readers would care to reply to William Schaefer 's 
request (KL 57), we 'd be happy to publish them. 

[from a longer letter to Sandor Burstein] ... I spent the Eas- 
ter/Pesach weekend reading Dante's Divine Comedy... The 
reason I mention it is the interesting remark made by the 
editor, Ralph Pite, in his comments on the translation: "Cary's 
translation (1814) appeared when Dante's poem received more 
attention and was more influential on English writers than at 
any time since Chaucer. Shelley,... Keats,... Tennyson,... 
and even Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland 
all develop, comment on, and are indebted to the Commedia." 
(Everyman, Charles E. Turtle, 1 994 ISBN 460 87522 1 ). As I 
can hardly imagine the White Rabbit in the role of Virgil, or 
the Queen of Hearts as Beatrice, I appeal to your expertise on 
this matter. Has there, for example, been a contribution to 
your magazine on this subject? 

Dr.JillKlee 
Norway 

John Docherty's "Dantean Allusions in Wonderland" ap- 
peared in Jabberwocky, Vol. 19, no. 1/2, Winter -/Spring 1990, 
pp. 13-1 6. 

Since my last letter to you, I have had time think deeply 
about its contents and the type of "debate" I hope to spark 
by submitting it. In this letter I claimed that the nonsense/ 
antimeaning school of thought (spearheaded by scholars 
such as M. Cohen and followed by the great majority of read- 
ers) as a concept is at best dubious and at worst self-contra- 
dictory. I claimed that I not only have theoretical arguments 
to back up my conclusions but that I have discovered all 
kinds of concrete examples as well. Ultimately, in my opinion, 
it will be the many concrete examples (and not abstract philo- 
sophical arguments) that will convince people that Carroll 
hid a whole of pile of direct and indirect meanings in his 
"nonsense". However, I am ready to address both the theo- 




15 



retical and the concrete aspects of the nonsense versus "non- 
sense" argument if only someone cares to defend the more 
popular side of the question. 

Stylistically, I will attempt to keep the arguments as simple as 
possible in order to be understood by all readers of the Knight 
Letter and because, I believe, that most of the wrong-headed 
approaches to Carroll have been instigated and propagated 
by high fallutin' jargon and scholarly/academic double talk. 
So without further ado, I will present more examples of Carroll's 
wordplay which have so far been either not recognized or 
misunderstood. 

The first example is that of the Dormouse. By reading the "A 
Mad Tea Party" and "Who Stole the Tarts" chapters, a per- 
son soon comes to realize that there is something strange in 
the way Carroll allows the Dormouse to be treated. It seems 
that those near the Dormouse are at times either "resting 
their elbows on it", "pinching" it, squeezing it, or threatening 
to "suppress" him. (What Carroll means by "suppress" is 
easy to know as this term was defined by the following de- 
scription: "As that is rather a hard word {suppress}, I will 
explain how it was done. They had a large canvas bag, which 
tied up at the mouth with strings: into this they slipped the 
guinea-pig, head first, and then sat upon it.") The reason for 
having characters do the "nonsensical" actions above is that 
the word "dormouse" is easily confused with the word 
"dormeuse" which is a type of lounge chair or settee. The 
Oxford English Dictionary defines "dormeuse" (and even 
presents a "mix up" between the words in a quotation from 
1753) as: 

Dormeuse (Fr.; fern, of dormeur sleeper, applied to articles 
convenient for sleeping, f. dormir to sleep.) 1 . A hood or 
nightcap. Obs. ... 1753 - Let. Mrs. Dewes in Life & Corr. 
260 She had not yet been able to get her dormouse. ... 3. A 
kind of couch or settee. 1865 Strathmore I. vi. 94 He lay 
back in a dormeuse before the fire. 

The above are the reasons for the characters to do all of their 
leaning, sitting, pinching, squeezing, etc. actions to the "Dor- 
mouse" 

If the above explanation wasn't enough, Carroll in both ren- 
ditions of "Bruno's Revenge" (found as a short story or as 
the fifteenth chapter of Sylvie and Bruno) very nearly re- 
peats the same "Dormouse/dormeuse" joke or pun of AW. 
However, instead of a "Dormouse", in "Bruno's Revenge" 
Carroll tells of a close-sounding "dead mouse": "Bruno 
needed no second invitation: he at once began arranging the 
dead mouse as a kind of sofa." 

So, the "Dormouse" in Carroll's "nonsense" is a "dormeuse", 
(and a "dead mouse"), in a similar fashion as Edith and Lorina 
(Liddell), Alice's sisters, are the Eagle and the Lory. On the 
other hand, Carroll's complex "dormouse", in addition to be- 
ing a "couch or settee" is also a bat! This can be seen when 
we look at the Hatter's song and how the "dormouse" re- 
acted to it: "Twinkle, Twinkle, little bat! / How I wonder what 
you are at! / Up above the world you fly / Like a tea-tray in 



the sky. Twinkle, Twinkle' 

Here the Dormouse shook itself, and began singing in its 
sleep 'Twinkle, twinkle, twinkle, twinkle. . . "' 

The "Dormouse" takes the song as a command because in 
some districts of England (during Victorian times) a "dor- 
mouse" was a bat. The English Dialect Dictionary provides 
us with the following helpful definition: 

"Dormouse, sb. Glo. . .The bat, so called because it sleeps in 
winter. . . Glo. N&Q.(\ 868) 

From the above we get the reason why the "Dormouse" thinks 
that he ought to "twinkle" and also that this "batty" use of 
"dormouse" was recorded in 1868. Some of the critics will 
say that neither The English Dialect Dictionary nor this 
particular issue of Notes and Queries were published before 
AW. To this objection I will say "so what?" Anyone who 
knows anything about dictionaries (or Notes & Queries) will 
tell you that it takes some time for a meaning used by a group 
of people to be officially recorded in a dictionary or a similar 
publication. Dictionaries do not coin meanings: they merely 
record these after years of usage. Anyway, the dictionary is 
not all of the evidence I have. I also have Carroll's definitions 
or uses. 

It must be remembered that Alice herself makes a similar con- 
nection between a mouse and a bat in "Down the Rabbit- 
Hole": "There are no mice in the air, I am afraid, but you might 
catch a bat, and that's very like a mouse, you know." In addi- 
tion, the preface to Sylvie and Bruno Concluded contains 
the following macabre set of puns to perhaps support all of 
the above "Dormeuse = Dormouse = mouse = bat" connec- 
tions. When describing the Bruno and "dead mouse" epi- 
sode in the "Bruno's Revenge" chapter of Sylvie and Bruno, 
Carroll writes: "The very peculiar use, here made of a dead 
mouse, comes from real life. I once found two very small 
boys, in a garden, playing a microscopic game of 'Single 
Wicket'. The bat was, I think, about the size of a table spoon; 
the outmost distance attained by the ball, in it most daring 
flights, was 4 or 5 yards. The exact length was of course a 
matter of supreme importance; and it was always carefully 
measured out (the batsman and the bowler amicably sharing 
the toil) with a dead mouse!" 

If even a part of the above arguments is accepted, it will 
show most rational readers with a sense of humour that Carroll 
was in control of his narratives and that he continually gave 
clues regarding how to recognize and then proceed to solve 
his linguistic riddles. At least when it comes to analyzing his 
use of the word "dormouse" he was not writing "intuitively" 
- the "dormouse/dormeuse" or the "dormouse/mouse/bat" 
puns are extremely far from being anything which could lead 
to Cohen's "antimeaning" conclusions! At the same time it 
must be remembered that the "dormouse" example is only 
one of the many equally explainable cases I am prepared to 
present to the more skeptical in the LCSNA. This example 
must do for now and I leave you with Carroll's or the Duch- 
ess' moral (which has gone unheeded for far too long): "take 



16 





care of the sense and the sounds will take care of them- 
selves"! 

All the best to those who not only love Carroll's works but 
also want to understand them and their writer, 

Fernando J. Soto 
alphbeth@hotmail.com 

Queries 

Does anyone know whether Disney's earlier animated foray 
into Wonderland called "(Mickey) Thru the Mirror" (1936) is 
available on video? 



Deborah Caputo 
Australia 



Deborah's just-coming-into-being Lewis Carroll Society of 
Australia has had a centenary picnic (10 January) and has 
produced three issues q/The Lobster's Voice. Contact her at 
39 Sackville St., Bexley NSW 22076, Australia. (But please 
also send the video information to the KL). 

Being a particular enthusiast of the hermeneutics of The 
Books, I rather enjoyed the sentence from High Life ("Far- 
flung",/?^ ): "Some say the story echoes Carroll's own birth 
trauma in the Daresbury parsonage, others that it mirrors the 
sexual act, one critic argues that Alice is a transvestite Christ 
while many others have contended that Alice is a phallus — 
a theory that, as Morton Cohen remarks, does at least pro- 
vide us with a rhyme." Can any reader help in tracking down 
these bizarre interpretations? 

The Editor 




3n Jfflemodam 

Carol Stoops Droessler became ill shortly after attend- 
ing our March meeting in New York City, and died 
peacefully in her sleep at home on July 31, of cancer. 
Carol was a member of the LCSNA for many years, 
attending meetings on the East and West coasts, of- 
ten accompanied by her husband, Earl. Carol was a 
graduate of Longwood College, Farmville, Virginia, an 
active member of the Alumni Board, and was in the 
process of giving her collection of Lewis Carroll items 
to the college library. 

She was named for Carol in The Bird's Christmas Carol 
by Kate Douglas Wiggin and became an avid collector 
of the many editions of Wiggin's books. 

Carol is survived by her husband, Earl, and five chil- 
dren. Donations may be sent to the Carol Stoops 
Droessler Scholarship Fund at the Longwood College 
Alumni Office, 201 High Street, Farmville, VA 23909. 

~ Germaine Weaver 

We regretfully also note the passing of Mae Durham 
Roger (1918- Sept. 25), longtime LCSNA member, li- 
brarian, and authority on children's books. 




r Carrollian 
Notes 



Celebrating Martin Gardner 

Fran Abeles and Stan Isaacs 

The Gathering for Gardener III, a "by invitation only" 
event bringing together from the USA, Europe and Asia about 
ninety magicians, mathematicians, computer scientists, and 
puzzlists, assembled at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in down- 
town Atlanta (G A) from January 16- 18, 1998. Gardner's in- 
fluence on their own work was widely recognized and ac- 
knowledged by speakers and performers alike. In addition to 
an abundance of magic tricks, there were knots, pentacubes, 
packings, and games. Society members know Gardner as the 
author of Logic Machines and Diagrams (1958, 1982), The 
Annotated Alice (1960), The Annotated Snark (1962), Snark 
Puzzle Book (\ 975), Wasp in the Wig ( 1 977), More Annotated 
Alice (1990), and as the former editor of the "Mathematical 
Games" section of Scientific American where between 1960 
and 1975 he included many of Carroll's games and puzzles. 

Adding to his seventy-eight page bibliography of 
Gardner's work, Dana Richards listed translations into twenty 
languages. Gardner's writings on Lewis Carroll appear in five 
of these (French, Italian, Japanese, Russian, and Spanish). 

At the gala dinner Saturday evening, the Harvard 
mathematician Noam Elkies entertained us by illustrating on 
the piano the mathematical principles of cantata construc- 
tion, while at the Friday evening dinner, the Harvey Mudd 
mathematician Arthur Benjamin again dazzled us with his 
feats of mental calculation, including identifying the day of 
the week with any date, reminiscent of Carroll's method pub- 
lished in Nature in 1 887, but Benjamin needed only five sec- 
onds or so, not the fifteen to twenty-five Carroll claimed was 
necessary for his scheme. 

Gardner, who turned 83 on October 21 s , was unable 
to attend because his wife, Charlotte, was not well enough to 
make the trip. (She is fine now). We expect to see them both 
at the next Gathering. 

More from Morton 

Morton Cohen's Lewis Carroll: A Biography has 
come out in French (AX 57, p. 23), recently in Spanish (tr. 
Juan Antonio Molina Foix, Editorial Anagrama, Barcelona, 
Spain) and Portuguese (Brazil, details to follow), and now on 
Books on Tape. Part I on eight 1 Vz hour cassettes, read by 
David Case (book #4500-A), is out; part II will be forthcom- 
ing: P.O.Box 7900, Newport Beach CA 92658; 1 .800.88books; 
www.booksontape. com. 



17 



<©_}[ ^SoWf^ 8c 



The Art of Alice in Wonderland 

Smithmark, 1998,0-7651-9133-4. 

What an annus mirabilis it has been for our own 
Stephanie Lovett Stoffel. Her exquisite Lewis Carroll in Won- 
derland was published by Discoveries (KL 56, p. 12); she is 
the new President-designate of our Society (to be formally 
elected at the November gathering); and now Smithmark Pub- 
lishers has released her illuminating essays on AW, festooned 
with hundreds of illustrations from the famous Lovett collec- 
tion, including toys, games, comic books, advertisments, 
sheet music and so on, as well as many classic (and some 
fairly unknown) illustrators of the 
story. The graphic design is rather 
"psychedelic" and quite eye- 
catching, and her essays cover lin- 
guistics, the spiritual myth of the 
journey, Victorian times, the dark 
side of the books, questions of 
identity and so forth in an im- 
mensely thoughtful and readable 
form. I believe she intended both 
possible readings of her title. 

The Best Guidebook Ever 





Lewis Carroll's England: An Il- 
lustrated Guide for the Literary 
Tourist by LCSNA President 
emeritus Charlie Lovett is an utter 
delight to peruse, as well as ful- 
filling a long-standing need for the 
Carrollian tourist in the U.K. 
Dodgson himself was of course a 
peripatetic sort of fellow and this 
book follows his life more or less 
chronologically, filled with photo- 
graphs (contemporary and historical) and etchings, railway 
and tourist information, and a wealth of biographical significa 
and minutiae which will serve brilliantly as a guide to 
Dodgson's life and times. Things to be seen include his con- 
scious and unconscious influences; favorite walks; and in- 
valuable information such as where to get the key when the 
Daresbury parish church is locked; the slaying of the 
Sockburn Worm and why we should care; and where to find 
a treacle well. Published under the "White Stone" imprint of 
the Lewis Carroll Society (U.K.), it can be ordered for U.S.$20 
(includes postage & handling) from Sarah Stanfield, Acorns, 
Dargate, Near Faversham, Kent, ME1 3 9HG, England. 

The Cheshire Cat Looking-Glass 

Pages 6-7 of the Knight Letter #55 were devoted to the ex- 
quisite hand-printed works of Joe Brabant and George Walker 
of the Cheshire Cat Press in Toronto, and it was announced 



"How could this little tale, written by one 
particular person for another (a religious 
and intellectual young man for a bright 
and aristocratic child) at a very definite 
place and time (the idiosyncratic world 
of mid- 19th-century Oxford) speak so 
much to so many for so long? As with 
any great piece of literature, the answer 
is both simple and complex, immediate 
and endless. Alice's story speaks of 
essential truths about the human 
condition, and it does so not in the blunt 
language of sociology or psychology but 
in the subtle tongue of art, leaving loose 
ends, dark corners, and mysterious 
twilights in which each reader sees his or 
her own personal meaning." 

Stephanie Stoffel, The Art of AW 



that their Through the Looking-Glass 
with 94 of George's wood engravings 
"is expected next year". Well, it IS next 
year (the happy voices cry) and cop- 
ies are now available for $400 (U.S.) in 
3/4 leather bound handmade paper covered boards from: 
George Walker, 73 Berkshire Ave., Toronto, Ontario M4M 
2Z6, Canada. 416.469.3711; george_walker@tvo.org; 
www3.sympatico.ca/george.walker. A few copies of Alice's 
Adventures in Wonderland are also still in stock. 

Alice in Context 
The Making of the Alice Books: 
Lewis Carroll's Uses of Earlier 
Children 's Literature by Ronald 
Reichertz. Montreal: McGill- 
Queen's University Press, 1997. 
Reviewed by Jan Susina 

Far too often Carroll's 
A W has been seen by critics of 
children's literature as such a re- 
markable or ground-breaking 
book that it has been taken out 
of its literary or cultural context. 
Harvey Darton, in Children's 
Books in England (1932), has 
compared its 1 865 publication to 
"a spiritual volcano" in children's 
literature. Percy Muir neatly di- 
vides English children's books 
into two categories: "From (John) 
Harris to Alice" and "After 
Carroll". Muir argues that there 
was "no comparable giant before 
or after it." You've heard the claim countless other times. It 
comes down to Carroll single-handedly changing the face of 
children's literature with the publication of the Alice books. 
Literary history is never quite so simple or as clear- 
cut as it appears in textbooks. Writers don't go to bed Ro- 
mantics and wake up the next morning Victorians. Like most 
things, literary history is messy. Books influence books. Unlike 
Athena, Alice did not emerge fully formed from Carroll's head. 
It doesn't reduce Carroll's genius in the least to acknowl- 
edge that the Alice books were strongly influenced by earlier 
children's literature, a point that Reichertz' book makes clear. 
Reichertz argues that too often Carroll's use of ear- 
lier children's literature in developing the thematic and for- 
mal features of the Alice books has been overlooked; he 
does acknowledge that Carroll's parodies of earlier works b 
authors such as Isaac Watts, Ann and Jane Taylor, and R' 
ert Southey have been well researched. Reichertz admi f 



18 



he is following the lead of Roger Lancelyn Green's introduc- 
tion to the Oxford World Classic edition of the Alice books 
(1962) in seeking the sources that may have influenced 
Carroll. However, Reichertz seems to undervalue the work of 
Steven Prickett's Victorian Fantasy (1979) and Marguerite 
Mespoulet's The Creators of Wonderland (1934), although 
both books are given slight mention. Unfortunately, Reichertz 
seems unaware of the significant scholarship found in Roger 
Lancelyn Green's Tellers of Tales (1946), Michael C. Kotzin's 
Dickens and the Fairy Tale (1972), John Goldthwaite's The 
Natural History of Make-Believe (1996), or Gillian Avery's 
Nineteenth Century Children (1965), which provide a liter- 
ary context in earlier children's literature for Carroll's work. 

This is a surprisingly thin book on such a rich sub- 
ject. The book is divided into two major sections: Reichertz' 
75 pages of analysis, and a subsequent 148 pages of appen- 
dices which reprint examples of children's texts that are pro- 
posed as sources or analogues for the Alice books. As a 
result, the most useful aspect of the text is the reprinting of 
the original children's texts, but it subsequently makes the 
volume more an anthology that a critical study. 

Using the concept of "litterature" which Carroll 
coined when discussing the genesis of Sylvie and Bruno, 
Reichertz shows Carroll's theory of composition was a col- 
lection of bits and pieces of litter, or those "random flashes 
of thought" traceable "to the books one was reading" or to 
"a friend's chance remark". Reichertz focuses on three genres 
of children's literature that Carroll used: the "world turned 
upside down", the looking-glass book, and the "dream vi- 
sion". He also shows how Carroll frequently reacts against 
the prevailing didactic literature of information, an observa- 
tion which is hardly original. 

While Reichertz is careful to argue that Carroll was 
responding to genres rather than specific texts, in his lengthy 
appendices he provides examples of the types of books to 
which Carroll alluded. William Pinnock's A Catechism of Ge- 
ography (1822) is given as a possible source that inspired 
Alice's distorted geography lesson in Wonderland. Indeed, 
Pinnock's text does include a chapter titled "Of Latitude and 
Longitude". Ann and Jane Taylor's Signor Topsy-Turvy's 
Wonderful Magic Lantern (1810) is posited as a source of 
Carroll's reversals. Abraham Chear's A Looking Glass for 
Children (1673) is seen as the possible source of the look- 
ing-glass book which is structurally important to TTLG. 
Reichertz' chapter on the tradition of the looking-glass book 
is the most convincing in this brief study. John Bunyan's 
Pilgrim 's Progress ( 1 678) and Geoffrey Chaucer's The Book 
of the Duchess ( 1 369) are suggested as influential in Carroll's 
use of the dream vision as well as the anonymous The Child's 
Dream (1820). 

Reichertz' most original claim is his suggestion that 
the concluding poem of TTLG with the final line, "Life, what 
is it but a dream?" is, if one removes "what" and "it" be- 
comes "Life is but a dream", the refrain of Elipthalet Lyte's 
popular "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" (1 852). If Reichertz is 
correct, then Carroll's poem cleverly refers to the origins of 
the creation of Wonderland during the 1 862 boat trip with the 



Liddell sisters. The round structure of the song also under- 
scores the melancholy assertion that life is little more than a 
repeating dream. This ingenious explanation does not take 
into account that "Life, what is it but a dream?" also echoes 
Novalis' epigram "Our life is no dream; but it ought to be- 
come one, and perhaps will" which George MacDonald, 
Carroll's good friend, used in the concluding chapter of 
Phantastes (1858) and which MacDonald frequently cited. 

While Reichertz does a fine analysis of Carroll's 
Alice books in relation to the three traditions of the "upside 
down world", the looking-glass book, and the dream vision, 
what is noticeably lacking in this study is Carroll's use of the 
literary fairy tale. He does not take into account the impor- 
tant influence of Charles Kingsley's The Water-Babies (1 863), 
George MacDonald's numerous literary fairy tales many of 
which first appeared in Adela Cathcart (1 863), and Catherine 
Sinclair's Holiday House ( 1 839) with its well-known interpo- 
lated fairy tale "Uncle David's Nonsensical Story about Gi- 
ants and Fairies" as well as the lively antics of Laura and 
Harry who seem to be prototypes for Alice. It is worth noting 
that Carroll gave an inscribed copy of Holiday House to the 
Liddell children. Given that Carroll considered AW a. literary 
fairy tale, it seems odd not to deal with the influence of previ- 
ous literary fairy tales for children. Reichertz has, in some 
ways, missed the boat, since literary fairy tales are as impor- 
tant to the making of the Alice books as the three genres he 
examines. Despite its shortcoming, Reichertz has managed 
to gather together in one volume many difficult-to-obtain 
children's texts that were influential in the composition of the 
Alice books and for that reason this collection will be a use- 
ful resource. 

A Remembrance of Albert C. Berol 

Fan Parker 

Most often when the LCSNA meets in New York 
City, its members visit the Fales Library of New York Univer- 
sity to view the Berol Collection of Lewis Carroll. To enliven 
the name of "Berol", I thought that information outlining his 
career as well as a brief sketch on my meeting with this cor- 
porate giant and assiduous collector might be of interest. 

Upon his death in 1 974, the New York Times marked 
the major stages of his life in an obituary: Berol graduated 
cum laude from Harvard in 1 9 1 3 ; in World War I he served as 
a lieutenant with the infantry in France; upon his return home 
he received training in international finance, and then joined 
the Eagle Pencil Company, founded by his great-grandfather 
Daniel Berolzheimer. After inheriting the company, he served 
successfully as its president and chairman, changing its name 
to the Berol Corporation 2 in 1969, and retired in 1972. Some- 
time in the midst of these events he became an ardent collec- 
tor, but also a generous one, donating letters of George Wash- 
ington and John Jay to Columbia and a letter of Galileo to the 
Harvard Library. He sat on the boards of several university 
libraries, and received an honorary Doctor Of Humanities 
from Westminster College in Salt Lake City. 

I met with him once, on November 1 5 , 1 973 , when he 
was eighty and already a sick man, but one who even then 



19 



exhibited great reverence for Carroll, whom he deemed a "sin- 
gular writer". He also expressed pride in holding the very rare 
first Russian translation of Alice. 

Eager to dip into the 1879 translation of AW, I had 
written him a letter identifying myself as a professor of Rus- 
sian and requesting an opportunity to see the book. To my 
great surprise and pleasure, he replied "I should be glad to 
show you my Russian edition of AW, which is the only one I 
have seen and know of no other in the Western world. It is in 
my apartment at the Hotel Pierre. If you will let me know when 
you will come to the city I shall try to arrange a date with you. 
I look forward to meeting you." 

I arrived at the Hotel Pierre at the designated time, 
but to my distress the top button of my fashionable camel- 
hair cape fell off somewhere in the vestibule and there was 
no time to search for it. A youngish French lady in Berol's 
service ushered me in and at once took note of the missing 
button. I explained. 

Mr. Berol, a pleasant-looking man, walked into the 
room supported by a male nurse and a cane. Here was a 
proud man who wished to meet his guest standing up! A 
most welcomed rapprochement soon ensued and before long 
he was asking me to follow him to the rooms which housed 
his rare books. There I met his small, trim, and beautiful wife 
Madeleine. The nurse helped Mr. Berol to a sofa, while his 
wife acted on his behalf, bending and stretching, fetching 
books from one room or another, and from various shelves of 
the glassed bookcases. 

At last Ania v tsarstve diva ("Ania in the Kingdom 
of Wonder") was in his hands and shortly he turned over the 
precious little volume to me. Gingerly turning the pages and 
taking a few notes, I became aware that time and circum- 
stances would not permit a careful look. I ask timidly whether 
it would be feasible to reproduce the whole book. I assume 
that most collectors would have categorically denied such a 
request, but the Berols were made of a different stock, and 
evidently it was habitual for them to pay close attention to 
the needs of others. Much hustle and bustle followed. All of 
a sudden, some new faces appeared in the apartment. The 
first problem to be solved was to determine which of their 
offices had a reproducing machine; then the second problem 
was how to transport it to Connecticut where one turned out 
to be available. After all the answers seemed to have been 
found, Mr. Berol decided to forego this dangerous venture 
since he lacked trust in the clerks who would be handling it. 
I fully concurred, as too much was at stake. (I could not 
foresee that some time later, when working on a bibliography 
of all Russian translations of Alice, I would be diligently 
examining this very book at its new home in the Fales Li- 
brary.) 

A late luncheon at the Hotel Pierre restaurant fol- 
lowed. Mr. Berol became overwhelmed by the noisy atmo- 
sphere and wished to leave as soon as possible, which we 
did. But, Lo and Behold!, when the French woman handed 
me my cape, she whispered that she had sewn another but- 
■>n on, one very closely resembling the one I had lost. 

My impression of the Berols was that with their 



wealth was entwined an earthiness, charm, generosity of spirit, 
and lack of pomposity. Perhaps, on our subsequent visits to 
the Fales Library, this brief remembrance might help us per- 
ceive Alfred Berol the man, to whom we are indebted for the 
great work of art his collection of Lewis Carroll immortalizes. 

The Fales Library is located on the 3 rd floor of the Bobst Library, 
70 Washington Square South. Hours are M-Th 10-6, Fridays by ap- 
pointment. It is normally only open to qualified academic researchers, 
by pre-arrangement. 212.998.2596. 

2 

Now a multi-national corporation, its primary business is still in 
writing implements for office, home, graphic design, and novelties. 



Speakers at the coming Fall '98 gathering in Los 
Angeles (November 6 - 7) will include Daniel Singer on 
"Disney's A#ce in Theme Parks & Beyond"), Michael 
Welch and Anashia Plackis with looks at the Russian 
Journeys of CLD and E.E.Cummings, Charles Lovett 
on "Carroll's Favorite Play", Mark Burstein on "Comic 
Sensibilities", Hilda Bohem on the 1933 Parmount 
production, and a Balinese shadow-puppet play. 
Other meetings are being planned for the Baltimore / 
Washington area (Spring '99), Toronto (Fall '99), and 
New York (Spring '00). 



Illustration credits 

Front cover: collage based on "Ritter, Tod und Teufel" 
("Knight, Death and Devil") by Albrecht Diirer (1513). 

p. 7: While we are anxiously awaiting Eduardo Stilman's Span- 
ish translation of the Alice books (with the Snark, letters, 
etc.), we can make do with one of the illustrations, a fine 
caricature of CLD by Hermenegildo Sabat, whose works of- 
ten appear in Clarin (a very important newspaper in Argen- 
tina). 

pp. 8-10: cartoons from The New Yorker 



Serendipity 

I was trying to sleep the other night when I suddenly 
began thinking about it again. I realized, lying there, 
that television men might be stimulated by this essay 
to brutalize Peter Pan, Peter Rabbit, The Wind in the 
Willows, The Crock of Gold, and also to do violence 
to some of the inviolable old Alices of literature. I 
thought, I regret to say, and probably should not 
report, of Alice Threw the Looking Glass mdAlide- 
Spit-In-The-Fire, and then got up and had a stiff 
drink and a cigarette after this paraphrase leaped 
into my naughty mind: "0 won't you dismember 
Sweet Alice, Ben Bolt?" 

- James Thurber 

"Carpe Noctem, If You Can" 

Credos and Curios, 1949 



20 



The "MythCon" conference in Illinois this past July (seep.4) was attended by several of our members, including ku 
Berman of Minneapolis, who composed this setting of the "Mad Gardener's Song" from Sylvie and Bruno. Illustrations 
are the original ones by Harry Furniss. 



The Mad Gardener 1 s Song 



Lewis Carroll 



Ruth Berman 



tjWfWJij}^ 



He thought he saw an e-le-phant that prac-tised on a fife: He looked a-gain and found it was a 



-b-> 



-*— \-4 



i 



i 



=H 



£ 



ttflll'kM'JJW Ep 



H * J 



let-ter from his wife. "At length I re-a-lize," he said, "the bit-ter-ness of life." (The 



J* P 



.1-8. 



»r\U r ] 2 h ^Uj 



t 



^^ 



bit-ter-ness of life.) (He) -tin - gui - shes all hopel Ex - tin - gui - shes all hope!) 



— — b-d- 



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He thought he saw an Elephant, 

That practiced on a fife: 
He looked again, and found it was 

A letter from his wife. 
"At length I realise," he said, 

"The bitterness of life!" 

He thought he saw a Buffalo 

Upon the chimney-piece: 
He looked again, and found it was 

His Sister's Husband's Niece. 
"Unless you leave this house," he said, 

"I'll send for the Police!" 

He thought he saw a Rattlesnake 
That questioned him in Greek: 

He looked again and found it was 
The Middle of Next Week. 

"The one thing I regret," he said, 
"Is that it cannot speak!" 



He thought he saw a Banker's Clerk 

Descending from the bus: 
He looked again, and found it was 

A Hippopotamus: 
"If this should stay to dine," he said, 

"There won't be much for us!" 

He thought he saw a Kangaroo 

That worked a coffee-mill: 
He looked again, and found it was 

A Vegetable-Pill. 
"Were I to swallow this," he said, 

"I should be very ill!" 

He thought he saw a Coach-and-Four 

That stood beside his bed: 
He looked again, and found it was 

A Bear without a Head. 
"Poor thing," he said, "poor silly thing! 

It's waiting to be fed!" 



He thought he saw an Albatross 
That fluttered round the lamp: 

He looked again and found it was 
A Penny-Postage-Stamp. 

"You'd best be getting home," he said: 
"The nights are very damp!" 

He thought he saw a Garden-Door 

That opened with a key: 
He looked again, and found it was 

A Double Rule of Three: 
"And all its mystery," he said, 

"Is clear as day to me!" 

He thought he saw an Argument 
That proved he was the Pope: 

He looked again, and found it was 
A Bar of Mottled Soap. 

"A fact so dread," he faintly said, 
"Extinguishes all hope!" 



21 



From Dor r<u*-QC(U(9> 



Exhibitions 

Reflections in a Looking Glass: A Cen- 
tennial Celebration of Lewis Carroll, 
Photographer, an exhibit organized by 
the Harry Ransom Humanities Research 
Center at the University of Texas at 
Austin will be open September 14th - 
December 1 8th and then travel through- 
out the U.S. during 1 999-2000. It will in- 
clude materials from the Ransom 
Center's Weaver and Sewell bequests, 
as well as the Gernsheim History of Pho- 
tography collection. The catalog, with 
an essay and extended captions by 
Morton Cohen, will be published by 
Aperture in October. (Aperture: 20 East 
23rd St., New York NY 10010; 
212.505.5555x33 1 ; www.aperture.com.) 
The opening reception will be held on 
Oct. 8, with guest speaker Morton 
Cohen; a Mad Hatter's Tea Party for 
children on Oct. 1 1 (5 12.47 1 .8944); a lec- 
ture by curator Roy Flukinger entitled 
"Packed his traps and 'sloped to Texas'" 
on October 22. The Center can be 
reached at PO Box 7219, Austin TX 
78731-7219; 512.471.91 19or -2899 fax; 
contact Richard Oram at roram@ 
mail.utexas.edu. 

A set of lovely watercolor & ink illus- 
trations to the Alice books by Julia 
Eggeringhaus was featured in the San 
Francisco Academy of Art College's 
Gallery in May and June. She can be 
contacted at 700 Taylor St. #603, San 
Francisco CA 94108. 

Alice is Wee, a conceptual installation 
by Tristan Lowe at the New Langton 
Arts in San Francisco during July and 
August, featured a 2 1 -foot blue inflated 
Alice with one eye, a hairy Sasquatch 
being sprayed with mugwort, and other 
things "too fierce to mention". 

Events 

The Mad Tea and Wonderland Ball, pre- 
sented by the Seattle arts group The 
Cheshire Society, kicks off a week-long 
tribute to the Lewis Carroll centenary. It 




Correspondents 



will take place in the Oddfellows' Hall 
on October 4th, 1998 from 5 to 10 p.m. 
The week will also see the run of an origi- 
nal stage-play "Alice: Through the 
Looking-Glass, Darkly". Contact : Mat- 
thew White, The Cheshire Society, 4234 
Stone Way North Seattle, WA 98103; 
Cheshire-soc@geocities.com; http:// 
www.geocities.com/broadway/alley/ 
6760 

The 1998 Founder's Day program at 
Vassar College had an A W theme. 

The Caravan Summer Touring Program 
of the University of New Hampshire's 
Department of Theatre & Dance has 
been performing "Blunderland: where 
Alice and the gang return to save Won- 
derland from the evil Queen's latest 
plot" at various New Hampshire ven- 
ues in August. 

Ballet Fantastique's AW, Sunday May 
17th, 1998 in CarmeLCA. 

A PTby the Little General Playhouse, 14- 
28 Feb. '99, Atlanta GA. 

Cyberspace 

"Alice in Wonderland - An Interactive 
Adventure" is available at Ruthann 
Logsdon Zaroff's website http:// 
www.ruthannzaroff.com/wonderland/ 

It has come to our attention that several 
"Erotic Toons" websites have rather 
graphic parodies of the Disney Alice 
characters in flagrante delicto. A Czech 
one is at http://home.onestop.net/ 
cartoonsx/alice.hrm. Alice is portrayed 
as being of a more proper age, but please 
do not go there if you think you would 
be offended. 

Send an Alice postcard to a cyber- 
friend: http://www.just-so.com/cgi-bin/ 
select.cgi?page=0&col=/images/carroll 

An animated cursor (for Windows) of 
Disney's Cheshire Cat can be found at: 
http://www.anicursor.com/cartoon.html 

22 



A Tenniel-based "Theme" (animated 
cursors, backgrounds, etc.) for Win- 
dows95 is available at http:// 
www.users.cts . com/crash/h/hindskw/ 
themes.html. 

CD-ROMs 

KomTex has published an interactive 
CD, "The World of Alice", which draws 
on multiple Russian translations — 
Nabokov, Zachoder and others with 
both new animations and Tenniel. It won 
a European "CD-ROM of the Year" prize. 
Contact Ms. GalinaMinina, B. Tul'skaya 
52, 113191 Moscow, Russia; 
comtech@ibrae.ac.ru; +7.095.955.2620. 

Smart Link Corporation offers a CD- 
ROM for Russian speakers to learn En- 
glish, based on A W. www.smarklinkcorp. 
com; smrtlnk@smarklinkcorp.com; 4695 
MacArthur Ct. Ste 230, Newport Beach 
CA 92660. 

Periodicals 

Biblio: Exploring the World of Books 
magazine is an indispensable reference 
and a joy to read for anyone who loves 
books. Carrollians would note that then- 
June '98 issue covered the Windsor 
auction by Sotheby's :New York, and 
mentions the sale of 1927 association 
copies of A W& TTLG luxuriously bound 
by Riviere and inscribed to the (future) 
Duke of Windsor (Edward VIII) by his 
father, George V ($7,450 the set). The 
July issue discusses the sale of six por- 
celain menu cards painted by Tenniel 
with the Alice characters selling for 
$ 14,405 at Sotheby's:London. Their Sep- 
tember issue reprints an 1859 photo- 
graph of Alice by CLD. Subscriptions 
are highly recommended. 800.840.3810 
or 54 1 .345 .3 800; P.O.Box 1 0603 , Eugene 
OR 97440; www.bibliomag.com; or bet- 
ter newsstands everywhere. 

The July 27, 1998 issue of The New 
Yorker contains a moving memorial 
about the novelist Iris Murdock by her 
husband John Bayley. In it he mentions 
that AW was one of Iris's favorite books. 



The July issue of British Airways' in- 
flight magazine High Life contains an 
article "England's Wonderlands" about 
Carroll and C.S.Lewis, and the Sabena 
Airlines' Passport contained "Curiouser 
and curiouser..." a Carrollian guide to 
Oxford and environs. 

The New York Times seems to be "re- 
joicing" in Alice these past few months. 
A long article "David Del Tredici: A 
Composer Caught in Alice's Web" by 
K. Robert Schwartz appeared on 24 May; 
a review of the "a.k.a. Lewis Carroll" 
show at the Morgan Library entitled 
"Looking Glass Reflected a Shy Victo- 
rian Don" by Grace Glueck appeared on 
5 June; "The Man Who Turned Sense 
Into Charmed Nonsense" ("Connec- 
tions" by Edward Rothstein) on 22 June 
and "Through the Looking Glass of 
Modern Music" by Verlyn Klinkenborg, 
24 June, were also inspired by the Mor- 
gan Library show; and "Lewis Carroll 
Revisited: In a Looking Glass, Darkly" 
by Alan Riding (20 August) reviews the 
"LC: Through the Viewfinder" show at 
the National Portrait Gallery in London. 
Many of these articles were syndicated. 

"Exact Analysis of Dodgson Elections: 
Lewis Carroll's 1876 Voting System Is 
Complete for Parallel Access to NP" by 
Hemaspaandra et al. in the Journal of 
the ACM, Vol 44 No. 6, November 1997. 

"Classifications and characterizations of 
Snarks" E. Steffen. Discrete Mathemat- 
ics, June 28, 1998, v. 188, no. 1/3. "A sur- 
vey of Snarks and new results, products, 
reducibility and a computer search" 
Cavicchioli et al., Journal of Graph 
Theory, June 1, 1998, Vol. 28, no. 2. 

Recently discovered in medical journals: 
"Neuronal plasticity and aging pro- 
cesses in the frame of the 'Red Queen 
Theory'" by Agnati et al.; Acta 
Physiologica Scandinavica, Vol.145 #4, 
August 1 992 and "Lymphomania. Non- 
Hodgkin's lymphoma as possibly viewed 
through the eyes of Lewis Carroll" by 
Glatstein, Journal of the Royal Society 
of Medicine, Vol. 80, Feb. 1987. 
"Somesthetic aura: the experience of 
AW" by Kew et al. in The Lancet, Vol . 
35 1 , 27 June '98, further explores the "A W 
syndrome" of perceived body size dis- 
tortions due to mieraines. "Reproduc- 



tion of mimosa and clock anomalies be- 
fore earthquakes: Are they 'AW Syn- 
drome'" by Ikeya et al., Proceedings 
of the Japan Academy , Vol. 74, Ser. B., 
No. 4 (1998), discusses the phenom- 
ena of clocks stopping or rotating rap- 
idly as precursors to an earthquake. 

Media 

Beware! Beware! Another TV movie is 
in the works. Not having learned any- 
thing from the CBS debacle (Irwin 
Allen's 1985 miniseries), resulting in 
one of the silliest pieces of trash ever 
to invoke Carroll's name, NBC is plan- 
ning a three hour movie, also combin- 
ing the stories. It is being produced by 
Robert Halmi, the executive producer 
of "Merlin", and will star comedian 
Martin Short and actress Miranda 
Richardson. Keep up with the news on 
http ://w ww. nbc . com/tvcentral/mms/ 
fr_index.html. 

Channel 4 TV in the U.K. is producing 
Nick Vivian's take on A W, in which her 
mother is the one going through the 
Looking-Glass, planned for airing in 
December. 

It is quite deplorable that we must note 
that a heinous ring of paedophiles which 
was recently busted took it upon them- 
selves to name their organization "the 
Wonderland Club", especially as it al- 
lowed the media {Time, 14 September) 
[et al.] to take cheap, totally unfounded 
pot-shots at the Reverend Dodgson. 
Fortunately, a mass coordinated effort 
by law enforcement officials from a 
dozen countries called "Operation 
Cheshire Cat" (that we can live with), 
took hundreds of these vermin into 
custody. Anyone finding Internet sites 
(or any other form) of child pornogra- 
phy should immediately inform the 
U.S.Customs hotline at 1 .800. be- alert. 

On 29-30 August, France-Culture, FM 
Paris 93.5, rebroadcast a 1966 L 'Hotel 
des Grands Hommes program entitled 
"Lewis Carroll, maitre d'ecole 
buissonniere" , a 7-hour round-table 
discussion with Louis Aragon, Domi- 
nique Aury, Andre Bay, Brassai', Marcel 
Duchamp, Marguerite Duras, Jean 
Gattegno, Eugene Ionesco, Jacques 
Prevert, Raymond Queneau, Philippe 



Sollers, Philippe Soupalt, and Ethel 
Hatch (once a CLD child-model, and the 
sister of Evelyn) "elucidating the enigma 
that was Lewis Carroll". 

Books 

An essay "Lewis Carroll in the Theatre" 
by Robertson Davies appears in a col- 
lection of his works Happy Alchemy: 
On the Pleasures of Music and the The- 
atre. Viking Press; ISBN: 0670880191 

A rather horrible (in both senses) "Clas- 
sics Desecrated" version of^J^is pre- 
sented in an "April (Not) Horrors" comic 
book. $3 from Rip Off Press; 
www.ripofipress.com; 800.468.2669; Box 
4686, Auburn CA 95604. 

Alice in Escherland calendars from QED 
Books, Room 1 , Stonehills House, Wel- 
wyn Garden City, AL8 6NH, U.K.+44- 
1707.396.698; qed@enterprise.net. $5 
US (1998), $15 US (1999) incl. postage. 

Martin Gardner's Visitors from Oz 
wherein Dorothy, Scarecrow, et al. visit 
Wonderland, and Alice visits Oz (see 
"Leaves" in KLs 56,57) has been pub- 
lished by St.Martins Press. $23 in hard- 
cover, 03 121 9353X. 

Christopher Ricks' introduction to In- 
ventions of the March Hare: Poems 
1909-1917 by T.S.Eliot (Harvest: 
Harcourt Brace, 1 998) — this was Eliot's 
original title for his notebook — dis- 
cusses LC's influence on TSE. 

The Walrus and the Carpenter, with 
charming water color illustrations by 
Jane Breskin Zalben, reissued in paper- 
back. $10 from Boyds Mills Press, 815 
Church St., Honesdale PA 1843; 
800.490.5 111. ISBN 1-56397-719-2. 

The catalog of the French exhibition 
"Nail / Alice" with pencil & watercolor 
illustrations (heavy on portraiture) by 
Nail is available ($25), along with sev- 
eral etchings ($800-2000) and original art 
from the book from Beverly Libby, Gal- 
lery B, Ltd. 75 Bennett St. D-2, Atlanta 
GA 30309. 404.35 1 . 1 1 74; -0554 fax. 

Academia 

The Carpenter Lectures series (May 1 8- 
2 1 ) in the Department of English of The 
University of Chicago presented Gillian 
Beer, King Edward VII Professor of En- 



23 



glish, Cambridge University, on "Alice 
in Space: The Alice books in the con- 
text of nineteenth century mathematics, 
language-theory, photography, parody 
and ethnography - and how they 
wriggle free"; also "Alice's Demon", 
"Rhyming Alice", and "Alice's Body". 

LCSNA member Michael Dylan Welch 
spoke at the annual American Literature 
Association conference on May 28, 
1998 in San Diego, California. His topic, 
as part of a panel sponsored by the 
E.E.Cummings Society, was "Trains to 
Moscow: A Comparison of Carroll's 
Russian Journal and Cummings' Eimf' 
(his 193 1 journal of a trip to Communist 
Russia). [Note: The policy of the 
E.E.Cummings Society and his publisher, 
Liveright, is to use the usual capital ini- 
tials; the common belief that he spelled 
his name with all lowercase letters is a 
misconception.] Michael will also be 
giving this talk at our Fall meeting. 

The Dickens Project of the University 
of California at Santa Cruz incorporated 
CLD into its "Dickens Universe" semi- 
nar, August 2-8, and featured such lec- 
ture topics as "Figuring Images: Meta- 
phor and Metamorphosis in Carroll's 
Alice Books and Film Adaptations" 
(Kamilla Elliott) and "The Long and 
Short of Oliver and Alice: The Chang- 
ing Size of the Victorian Child" (Goldie 
Morgentaler). 

Art and Artifacts 

Stained Glass works of the Tenniel draw- 
ings by Ruthann Logsdon Zaroff, and a 
book of designs for same, are available 
from Mirkwood Glass Designs, 17725 
Savage Road, Belleville, MI 48111; 
734.699.7206; http://www.ruthannzaroff. 



com/Mirkwood.htm;Ruthann@Ruth 
arm Zaroff.com 

A fine "gold-plated" bookmark of the 
Cheshire Cat reading a book also sup- 
ports the Reading is Fundamental pro- 
gram. P.O.Box 23444, Washington DC 
20026. A solid brass bookmark depict- 
ing the characters from Stuart Hough- 
ton, Ltd., The Southend, Ledbury, 
Heredfordshire HR8 2E4 En- 
gland.44.(0).153 1.633333. -63 1555 fax. 

A set of "scrap reliefs" (chromolitho- 
graphs - embossed stickers for decoup- 
age) from Mamelok Press Ltd, Northern 
Way, Bury St. Edmunds, England IP32 
6NJ. +01284 762291 or fax +01 284 703689. 




A hand-painted pewter "Tea Party in 
Wonderland" sculpture ($395) appears 
in The Disney Catalog, 1 .800.237.575 1 , 
and certainly in Disney Stores every- 
where. P.O.Box 29144, Shawnee Mis- 
sion, KS 66201-9144. See it online at 



http://www.disney-classics.com/ep_ 
mad_hat.html where it lists for $475. 

Folk artist Barbara A. Kissinger has re- 
cently created a small number of artist- 
signed and numbered prints. The origi- 
nals were produced from ink and acrylic 
drawings and include the ever-grinning 
"Cheshire Cat" and one illustrating 
eight books of "special meaning" to her, 
including AW. "Entitled 'The Inner Sanc- 
tum of the Book Shelf, much attention 
was given to detail. You can almost smell 
the mustiness of the browned pages in 
these old tattered editions... Standing 
on the shelf outside Carroll's book is 
the waistcoated White Rabbit, umbrella 
under arm and pocketwatch in hand. . ." 
$15 from Barbara A. Kissinger, 1630 
Smith Street, Burlington, IA 5260 1 ; 3 1 9- 
752-0226, e-mail bakissinger @lisco.net. 
http://burlingtonia. min ingco.com/li- 
brary/weekly/aa070698 .htm. 

Hand and Hammer Silversmiths' latest 
catalog offers an Alice charm bracelet 
for $108, and individual charms at $16 
each. 1.800.SILVERY. 

Old Glory Distributing offers a series of 
Alice T-shirts, including an especially 
retro tie-dye model with the caterpillar. 
Just the thing for the nostalgia buff, re- 
bellious teenager, or unreconstructed 
hippie in the house. 1 .860.399.5202. 

Royal Doulton Ceramics has things of 
interest in their "Giftware & Col- 
lectibles", namely a Lewis Carroll "char- 
acter jug", and Tweedledum/~dee "char- 
acter condiments". 701 Cottontail Lane, 
Somerset, NJ 08873; usa@royal- 
doulton.com; 732.356.7880 or 732.764. 
4974 fax; http://www.royal-doulton.com/ 



For help in preparing this issue thanks are due to: Earl Abbe, Fran Abeles, Sandor Burstein, Llisa Demetrios, Joe Desy, 
August A. Imholtz, Robert Alan Frost, Johanna Hurwitz, August Imholtz, Janet Jurist, Lucille Posner, Cindy Watter, 
Claude Weil, and Nancy Willard. 

Knight Letter is the official newsletter of the Lewis Carroll Society of North America. It is published several times a year 
and is distributed free to all members. Subscriptions, business correspondence, and inquiries should be addressed to 
the Secretary, 18 Fitzharding Place, Owing Mills MD 21 1 17. Annual membership dues are U.S. $20 (regular) and $50 
(sustaining). Submissions and editorial correspondence should be sent to the Editor, Box 2006, Mill Valley CA 94942. 
President: Joel Birenbaum, joel.birenbaum@lucent.com Secretary: Ellie Luchinsky, eluchin@erols.com 

Editor: Mark Burstein, wrabbit@worldpassage.net 
Lewis Carroll Society of North America Home Page: http://www.lewiscarroll.org/ 
The Lewis Carroll Home Page: http://www.lewiscarroll .org/carroll.html 

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